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Our Failure To Get The Commonwealth Games Won't Derail Our 2023 Rugby World Cup Bid, Says Mbalula

A delegation from the world rugby body is in the country on Monday to assess its readiness. The timing couldn't have been more awkward...

14/03/2017 14:29 SAST | Updated 14/03/2017 18:09 SAST
Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters

South Africa is still in the running to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup, sports minister Fikile Mbalula said at a press conference on Tuesday. The failure to secure the 2022 Commonwealth Games would not derail this process.

News broke on Monday that the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) had decided that Durban could not host the showpiece due to financial issues and the fact that the local organising committee had missed several deadlines since being awarded the Games in 2015.

Liverpool or Birmingham are being tipped as possible emergency hosts. The department of Sport and Recreation released a rather puzzling statement on Monday, saying that they had not been informed of the CGF's decision.

"The Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa is yet to receive official communication from the CGF on the withdrawal of the rights to host the 2022 games," the statement read.

"The department, the province of KwaZulu-Natal and the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality will however hold a Media Conference to convey government's response to the media statement issued by the CGF and media comments attributable to the president of Sascoc, Mr. Gideon Sam."

Mbalula will also be expected to comment on the reported R118-million that the bid is believed to have cost the country.

-- Additional reporting by Sport24