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One of Ireland's rivals for 2023 World Cup bid gets major government boost

The ban on South Africa hosting international tournaments has been lifted.

Ireland, South Africa and France are in the running to stage the tournament.
Ireland, South Africa and France are in the running to stage the tournament.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

SOUTH AFRICA’S BID to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup has received a huge boost today with the news the country’s department of sport and recreation has lifted its ban on staging international tournaments.

The South African Rugby Union (SARU), Cricket South Africa and the governing bodies responsible for netball and athletics weren’t permitted to bid for, or host, major events having failed to meet transformation targets.

Despite the ban being imposed, SARU continued through World Rugby’s bidding process and emerged as one of three candidates, alongside Ireland and France, vying to stage the 2023 World Cup.

The lifting of the ban does, however, mean the South African government can now officially support SARU’s bid to bring the World Cup back to the country ahead of the final submission of bid documents on 1 June.

“Their right to bid for and host major sporting events, which was revoked before, is hereby immediately reinstated,” said sports minister Thulas Nxesi according to a statement issued by SA Rugby.

“I would like to congratulate rugby, cricket and netball on their improved scores, you were clearly willing to walk the extra mile.”

The World Rugby Council will announce the host union for the 2023 World Cup on 15 November.

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Ryan Bailey

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