NRU bemoans SA's loss of hosting 2023 Rugby World Cup

16 Nov 2017 20:00pm
By Maqonda Ndlovu
WINDHOEK, 16 NOV (NAMPA) – South Africa's loss of the rights to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup to France by 24 votes to 14 in London on Wednesday will affect Namibia in many different ways.
This was said by Elizma Theron, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU).
Speaking exclusively to Nampa on Thursday, Theron said if Namibia qualifies for the 2023 World Cup, they will have to spend a lot of money preparing for the tournament in Europe, while a tournament in SA would have seen the NRU spending less of its resources in those preparations, in addition to the favourable and familiar playing conditions.
“Logistically it would have been much easier if it was in SA as we are neighbours and we know the circumstances. We know the training grounds, we know the people and we have connections,” she said.
Theron said it would have been easier to prepare for the tournament, but conceded that the recent decision for France to host the tournament may also work in Namibia’s favour as it may help the team to play without any pressure from the local fans who would have found it easy to go to SA.
She added that besides financial and logistical challenges, Namibia will lose out on top rugby playing nations setting up camp in Namibia, as was the case in 1995 when South Africa hosted the Rugby World Cup.
The acting CEO said as NRU, they sympathise with their SA counterparts who spent a lot of resources preparing for the tournament.
“We are very disappointed for our friends and for ourselves as we know that a tournament of that magnitude would have been good for tourism,” she concluded.
Namibia has participated in the last five consecutive World Cup tournaments since 1999.