Cape Town – As with so many things in life, they say money talks in the determination of major sporting events … did South Africa’s quest for RWC 2023 fail primarily because of an anticipated revenue inferiority of R1.2-billion?
It has been reported in the British media, since Wednesday’s shock revelation in London that France had pipped SA at the post to the tournament despite the latter country’s “preferred candidate” status technically, that the French would have substantially eclipsed South Africa for projected profitability.
According to the Daily Telegraph (www.telegraph.co.uk) France, who hosted a prior World Cup as recently as 2007 -- which seems to tell a tale in itself -- would have expected “record high revenue that would have been almost R1.2bn more than South Africa would have been able to produce”.
Without putting a total figure on it, the newspaper also said France anticipated raising “R2.2bn more than RWC 2015 (in England)”.
But here’s the clue to that sum: speaking toward the finish of the 2015 tournament, World Rugby’s Australian-born chief executive Brett Gosper – he has been in the role since 2012 – had been quoted as saying “there would be some R2.8bn accruing from the event to reinvest in the sport worldwide”.
Gosper also confirmed then that RWC 2015 had been “the most commercially successful World Cup to date” with value up by as much as 50 percent on 2011 (in New Zealand).
It seems increasingly that France’s superior, projected figures on the calculator to plucky South Africa’s, for RWC 2023, ultimately ruled the roost in the hosting pick …