Finally, good news for SA sports fans
The decision by World Rugby to endorse South Africa as their preferred hosts of the 2023 Rugby World Cup is welcome relief for sport and the economy.
The prospects of South Africa hosting another major sporting event were looking bleak.
Having being awarded the Commonwealth Games for the first time – set for Durban in 2022 – South Africa withdrew its bid, having made significant departures from their original promises and missing a number of key deadlines due to financial constraints.
Last month, SA’s credibility to host big sporting events took another knock as cricket’s T20 Global League to be played here was postponed at the last minute, despite franchises signing players and coaches.
Fast forward to yesterday, and the decision by World Rugby to endorse South Africa as their preferred hosts of the 2023 Rugby World Cup is welcome relief for sport and the economy.
It’s not a foregone conclusion SA will host the event in six years’ time, as the winner still needs a majority of the 39 votes on offer when the world rugby council votes on November 15.
But they took a big step closer to making it a reality. This country has hosted successful World Cups in rugby (1995), cricket (2003) and soccer (2010).
We have the infrastructure and can handle the influx of tourists. It’s not a certainty, but it’s good news, nonetheless.
And South Africans, especially sports enthusiasts, will take any good news they can get.