Laureus Awards to Cape Town has challenges

Monaco - South Africa's recent attempts at hosting major international sporting events have not gone very well. 

Having been awarded the rights to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Durban, national government was left with egg on its face in March last year when the country was stripped of that responsibility over financial concerns. 

Then, later in the year, SA Rugby was named as World Rugby's preferred nation to host the 2023 World Cup only for a controversial vote to give that honour to France instead.

On Tuesday night, the 18th edition of the Laureus World Sports Awards will take place in Monaco. 

A high-profile event of glitz and glamor, the Laureus Awards are about far more than celebrating sports stars. 

There are currently over 130 Laureus Sports for Good projects in 35 countries geared at changing the lives of children through sport, with 26 projects - more than any other country - currently operating in South Africa. 

For that reason alone, bringing the Awards to South Africa would make sense, while there have also been a number of South African nominations over the years. 

Former Springbok captain Morne du Plessis, who has been involved in Laureus since its inception and is the chairperson of Laureus SA, revealed to Sport24 on Monday that there had been an attempt in the past at bringing the Awards to Africa.

"Quite a few years ago we had a stab at it and looking at bringing it to Cape Town," he confirmed.

"There are a lot of factors at play here and one of the major issues is the availability of the athletes to be at the awards. It's critical for these awards.

"To get them to Africa is a major issue.

"The financial situation is also important. The city has to contribute to the infrastructure and Cape Town has a lot of pressing issues at the moment with the drought.

"It's not an impossibility. We're one of many countries that would like to host it as well.

"But we have to be pragmatic and practical."

*Lloyd Burnard is in Monaco as a guest of Laureus ...

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