Front Row Grunt

Rugby … with cauliflower ears


Damn right, SA deserves RWC 2023

Do I want us to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023? Damn right. Do I think we deserve to host it? Damn right. Do I think we will get it? Who knows! It’s a great bid, but it still comes down to a vote.

Tank Lanning

Hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2023 would bring South Africa R27.3 billion in direct, indirect and induced economic impact. It would also sustain 38 600 annual job equivalents – some temporary of course, but many permanent.

And on Monday the 25th of September, SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux and his bid team were in London to make our final presentation to World Rugby. They were only allowed 30 minutes, and followed fellow bidding nations, France and Ireland.

It’s a big deal!

Our track record of hosting premier global sporting events is actually unparalleled. Along with England, South Africa is one of only two countries to successfully host the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup and Cricket World Cup! That’s massive.

Do I want us to host it? Damn right. Do I think we deserve to host it? Damn right. Do I think we will get it? Who knows! Despite having great structures in place, and despite what has gone down at FIFA post 2010, it still comes down to a vote.

And we need just 19 of them in order to host Rugby World Cup 2023.

All three countries have now officially submitted their respective bids, the signed host agreements, and the signed government guarantee letters. Now we wait.

The Board of Rugby World Cup Ltd, based on a public evaluation process, will in mid-October issue a recommendation to World Rugby Council as to who should be the 2023 hosts.

The World Rugby Council will then vote to determine the host on November 15.

How the vote works:

It is a straight majority vote. If no country gets a majority in the first round of voting then the country with the least number of votes at that point is eliminated. In the event of a split decision, the chairperson, has the casting vote.

There are 37 votes and 19 votes will ensure a winner. None of the three bidding countries can vote.

Tier 1 countries England, Wales, Scotland, Italy, New Zealand and Australia get 3 votes each. Argentina and the Regional Associations Oceania, South America, North America, Africa, Europe and Asia get 2 votes each, while Canada, USA, Japan, Georgia and Romania each get a vote.

37 votes in total, 19 needed to win!

The respective bids will be measured against a regulated World Rugby scorecard of:

  • Tournament, organisation and schedule 5%
  • Vision and concept 10%
  • Tournament infrastructure 20%
  • Venues and host cities 30%
  • Finance, commercial and commitments 35%

The Finance, Commercial and Commitments criteria are further broken down to: Legislation and Customs, Financial Feasibility, Commercial Rights and Financial Guarantees.

As said, the structures are in place, but who knows how individual votes are decided. Might there be a mistress in Paris, or a favourite golf course in Dublin? Or perhaps a vote or three in return for the same in the next bidding process?

I think it’s a no brainer based just on the latest price parity, which shows the cost of a beer to be:

  • Paris – US$ 7.50
  • Dublin – US$ 6.50
  • Cape Town – US$ 2.10
  • Johannesburg – US$ 1.70

Sure the Irish and French events may bring in a bit more cash, but my oath, they would be expensive to attend.

And that has Roux bullish, predicting that “From a profit point of view, we (SA) will make more money than any other World Cup that has been hosted previously. We can deliver any World Cup at half the cost of the other countries that are able to do so.”

Government have backed the bid to the tune of R2.7 billion, and would not have done so were they not convinced that it represents both an economic opportunity and a sporting occasion.

For me, apart from the price of a beer, it is about four things:

  • We’ve got brand new stadia that were built for the Soccer World Cup in 2010. No more pesky white elephants, and perhaps a way to get rugby to move on from Newlands and Kings Park!
  • We are rugby-mad country and the focus will be wholly on the RWC – and the party that comes with it – in 20123
  • We not only deliver major events, but deliver them superbly.
  • It’s our time! The RWC has only been in Africa once, and by 2023 it will be nearly 30 years since it was last held in South Africa.

I still remember 1995 like it was yesterday, an event that brought us together as a nation like no other. We need that again.

Author: Tank

Ex WP prop with a fair amount of experience in all things media ...

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