South Africa's bid to host the 2023 World Cup could be strengthened after doubts arose over whether Ireland’s submission to host the event will be accepted.
On Tuesday, SA Rugby officially submitted its bid to host the 2023 World Cup.
South Africa is competing with France and Ireland for the right to host the tournament, but Irish sports minister Shane Ross has raised doubts over their bid as they seek to rush through legislation in order to support Ireland’s staging of the global showpiece.
In a letter to a committee for transport, sport and tourism, Ross revealed that emergency legislation would be required, and that the government was now under 'extreme time pressure' to ensure guarantees sought by the organising body would be delivered.
'I am writing to you now on a matter of urgency that has arisen,' Ross wrote. 'The draft guarantees to be provided by the state to support the staging of the tournament were received from the Rugby World Cup Limited on 7 April.
'After consideration of the vires [powers] of the minister, the office of the attorney general advised on 4 May that express statutory authority through the passing of primary legislation is necessary for a minister to provide the necessary guarantees.'
If Ireland's bid fails to meet the necessary requirements, South Africa would be competing only with France, where the World Cup was hosted as recently as 2007.
Photo: Anne Laing/HM Images