LONDON, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Reaction to the naming of France as the host for the 2023 Rugby World Cup by World Rugby in London on Wednesday.
”I can imagine how disappointed the others must be. There was not much to separate us. We won against two teams who also had a very good bid. We know we were a bit late with our bid, the others had a two, three year head start on us.
”Economically, it’s a great result – the resources will go into the amateur game. The bid is for all of French rugby and all the clubs.
“We were not afraid. We like fighting and we like winning. This time we were lucky. It’s worth a billion euros for (French) shopkeepers. Seventeen thousand jobs will be created and I‘m very proud of that.” -- French Rugby Union Federation head Bernard Laporte on what the win means for France.
”It was not the process that was not fair. It’s some aspects of the process that we did not find fair, not the whole project. It was obvious we did dispute some aspects. But I‘m not saying that’s why we won.
“And I’d thank again World Rugby for replying to our letter and we communicated on our misunderstanding and maybe it helped us.” -- Laporte on France’s complaints that the bid evaluation process was flawed.
“Organising the 2023 World Cup presents an incredible opportunity to accelerate further still rugby’s development in our country,” -- French sports minister Laura Flessel.
”We are bitterly disappointed at this decision and would like to apologise to the people and government of South Africa for raising their hopes. We did everything in our power to bring the tournament to South Africa and we expected to have that right confirmed today.
”We produced a compelling bid document that earned the unanimous recommendation of the Rugby World Cup Ltd board. That recommendation was questioned last week by rivals, but endorsed a second time by World Rugby last week.
“However, the view of the experts and World Rugby’s leadership was overturned by World Rugby Council members, who may have had other factors to take into account. We cannot hide our desolation but, for the sake of rugby we wish the 2023 tournament hosts every success.” -- SA Rugby president Mark Alexander on how preferred bidders South Africa missed out.
“We have said throughout that we would honour both the letter and the spirit of the process and we now consider the 2023 bidding process closed. However, in the feedback sessions I am sure we will be recommending to the World Rugby Council that the verdict of the evaluation committee become binding.” -- Jurie Roux, Chief Executive Officer of SA Rugby says it should never have gone to a vote.
“Obviously on behalf of Ireland, I‘m very disappointed at that decision and don’t regret for a second putting the bid forward. I think Ireland put forward a very good bid and we would have hosted a really good tournament,” -- Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told the country’s parliament.
”For almost six years we have focused passionately on bringing a Rugby World Cup to Ireland in 2023. In that time we developed a world class proposition which reflected positively on Ireland and saw us formally acknowledged as a destination well capable of hosting a superb Rugby World Cup. It is not to be. Our race is now run.
“Today belongs to France. They have our warmest congratulations and very best wishes for a magnificent Rugby World Cup in 2023.” -- Chief Executive of the Irish Rugby Football Union, Philip Browne.
“Humiliation for me? I don’t think so at all. We had an outstanding process and three great bids. Because the vote went to France after we had recommended South Africa doesn’t mean it’s humiliation.” -- World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont on the World Rugby Council voting against the recommendation of the Rugby World Cup Board. (Reporting By Nick Said; Editing by Christian Radnedge)