WORLD CUP 2023: SARU reacts to loss
REACTION: Shock and horror. That is the reaction when France won the right to host the tournament.
The South African Rugby Union said it was "bitterly disappointed" at the decision by the World Rugby Council to overturn a recommendation that South Africa should host the 2023 Rugby World Cup and instead voted for France to host the tournament in a secret ballot.
"We are bitterly disappointed at this decision and would like to apologise to the people and government of South Africa for raising their hopes," said SARU President Mark Alexander.
"We did everything in our power to bring the tournament to South Africa and we expected to have that right confirmed today [Wednesday].
"We produced a compelling bid document that earned the unanimous recommendation of the Rugby World Cup Ltd board. That recommendation was questioned last week by rivals, but endorsed a second time by World Rugby last week.
"However, the view of the experts and World Rugby’s leadership was overturned by World Rugby Council members, who may have had other factors to take into account.
"We cannot hide our desolation but, for the sake of rugby we wish the 2023 tournament hosts every success."
SARU CEO Jurie Roux ruled out any suggestions that his organisation might challenge the vote.
"We have said throughout that we would honour both the letter and the spirit of the process and we now consider the 2023 bidding process closed.
"However, in the feedback sessions I am sure we will be recommending to the World Rugby Council that the verdict of the evaluation committee become binding.
"World Rugby ran an exhaustive and transparent process for 15 months to identify the best host nation, only for the process to go entirely opaque for the past two weeks."
Alexander said that after a fourth successive disappointment in the Rugby World Cup bidding process it was difficult to know where South Africa would go from here.
"It will be for the next generation of SA Rugby leaders to decide whether to compete for the 2027 tournament or beyond," he said.
"I am sure our country will fulfil the dream of hosting the tournament once again someday; our hearts bleed that it will not be in 2023."
— MenziKulati(@menzikulati) November 15, 2017
Glad France will be hosting the #RWC2023. It would have been money wasted on unnecessary infrastructure upgrades and false "employmentopportunities" would have been made while students are still out here unable to afford tertiary education.
— MaKhumalo(@NoxCPoxC) November 15, 2017
Happy SA lost da #RWC2023 bid deymust focus on free education & the unemployment rate not trying to impress da world with a tournament datwill leave us broke like how Fifascrewed us.
— SechabaMohapi(@sechabamo_hapi) November 15, 2017
— Harvey Rael (@HarveyRael1) November 15, 2017
— Devin Heffer(@DevinH21) November 15, 2017