Stunned silence as SA loses out on 2023 Rugby World Cup

Durban mayor Zandile Gumede held her face in her right hand‚ sullen and disappointed as France — not South Africa — were named as hosts for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Durban mayor Zandile Gumede struggles to hide her disappointment after South Africa lost the 2023 Rugby World Cup bid Picture: MATTHEW SAVIDES

With “massive” tourism and infrastructure booms in the offing‚ Gumede said that Durban was excited at the possibility of hosting the event in six years’ time.

“Of course I’m disappointed‚” she said at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. “But if you’re bidding‚ you leave room for disappointment.”

Several group matches and knock-out games were set to be hosted at the R3.6-billion Moses Mabhida Stadium‚ which was built for the 2010 Soccer World Cup but with future intentional sporting events also in mind.

She said the city and country was banking on the “spin-offs and opportunities” that would have come with the event.

“Our poor would have benefited from this because more infrastructure would have been built; and job opportunities would have been created. The tourists…would have been beneficial for our communities.

“But we congratulate France‚” she said.

by Matthew Savides – TimesLIVE


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