South African government approves 2023 Rugby WCup bid

FILE - In this file photo dated Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015, reaching for the ball during the 2015 Rugby World Cup at Twickenham Stadium, London. South Africa’s new sports minister Thulas Nxesi on Tuesday May 9, 2017, lifted a ban on the South Africa Rugby Federation hosting major events, opening the way for it to submit a bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, FILE )

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — South Africa's new sports minister on Tuesday lifted a ban on the rugby federation hosting major events, opening the way for it to submit a bid for the 2023 World Cup by next month's deadline.

Minister Thulas Nxesi lifted suspensions on three codes — rugby, cricket and netball. Four sports fell short of transformation targets last year and were told by the former sports minister they were not allowed to bid to host any major competitions. The three met their targets in the latest report and were cleared to bid. Athletics again failed to meet its targets.

The transformation targets in South African sports are aimed at accelerating opportunities for black players, who were not allowed to play top-level sport under apartheid.

The federation, SA Rugby, would now submit detailed bid documents to World Rugby by the June 1 deadline, its president, Mark Alexander said.

"We can now put the finishing touches to what we believe will be an outstanding bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup," he said.

Ireland and France are also expected to bid.

South Africa's hosting of the 1995 Rugby World Cup is one of the sport's most memorable events. The Springboks won the tournament, beating New Zealand in an epic final in front of Nelson Mandela, who had been elected South Africa's first black president the year before.

Aiming to re-live some of the magic of that tournament, South Africa bid to host again in 2011, 2015 and 2019 but failed with all three bids.

The host country for 2023 will be decided in November, while the next Rugby World Cup will be held in Japan in 2019.

People also read these

Salah must tread carefully if he's to reform...

Sep 7, 2018

As long as he plays brilliantly, Mohamed Salah's popularity will protect him, but the Liverpool...

Ethiopia says protesting marathoner to be...

Aug 22, 2016

Ethiopia says protesting marathoner to be welcomed as hero; medalist made anti-gov't gesture

Kenya loses hosting rights to African soccer...

Sep 24, 2017

Kenya has been stripped of the right to host the 2018 African Nations Championship

Ghana FA dissolved, risks FIFA ban ahead of 2026...

Jun 7, 2018

Ghana risks being suspended from the 2026 World Cup hosting vote after its government said it would...

IOC cuts off funding to Kenya, suspension...

Mar 9, 2017

The IOC has cut funding to Kenya and will consider suspending the country next week after local...

Sign up now!

Daily Sprinter delivers the cutting-edge content from game reports to viral videos for our audiences worldwide. Our passionate writers strive to deliver a unique approach to the hottest sports news.

Contact us: sales[at]