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SA’s hopes of hosting #RWC2023 could be in jeopardy

SA Rugby face a ban on the future hosting of international events due to concerns of transformation.

FILE: Countries hoping to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023 need to submit their prospective bid documentation between May and June this year. Picture: South African Rugby ‏@Springboks.

PRETORIA - South Africa's hopes of hosting the 2023 Rugby World Cup could now be in jeopardy after the Department of Sport and Recreation named SA Rugby as one of the sporting codes who face a ban on the future hosting of international events due to concerns of a lack of transformation.

South Africa's rugby governing body has openly expressed its desire to host the showpiece in seven years, but now may miss out on the bidding window as a result of Minister Fikile Mbalula's announcement today at the release of the latest report by the eminent persons group.

Countries hoping to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023 need to submit their prospective bid documentation between May and June this year.

But this sanction imposed on SA Rugby by Mbalula's department, means that they could well miss out, and forego their chance to host their first World Cup since 1995.

Rugby wasn't the only federation to receive a lashing from the sports minister as Netball SA, Cricket South Africa and Athletics SA also had their hopes of hosting future international tournaments revoked.

At the same time, the sports minister says no sporting code can host a major event without the blessing of government.

Mbalula says the department is well within its rights to impose the measures.

"There's no federation in this country that can host any mega event without government, there's nothing that will happen, they can't organise anything and it is absolutely within the law, our right and what we can do."

He says the decision will only be reviewed when the progress of these federations is revealed in the 2016/2017 transformation barometer.

It seems for now that the hosting of the Cape Town 7s in December of this year wouldn't fall foul of this decision by the sports ministry as it's a deal that's already been agreed to.

To read Mbalula's full report On Sport Transformation, click here.