Laporte: We don't doubt good faith of RWC 2023 report but want corrections
Bernard Laporte, the president of the FFR, the French rugby federation, has said that he does not doubt the “good faith” of the compilers of a controversial report on bids by France, South Africa and Ireland to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup, but claimed that “there was a certain amount of incompetence.”
Laporte was speaking after World Rugby, the sport’s international governing body, said at the weekend that it would speak to the FFR over the comments it had made following the issuing of the report, which recommended that South Africa should be chosen to host the event.
There have been bitter recriminations from the French camp over the report by the board of Rugby World Cup Limited. Ireland, which is also in the race, is similarly reported to have written to World Rugby to complain.
World Rugby said that it was “concerned by the reported comments by host candidates regarding the Rugby World Cup 2023 host selection process and recommendation, and in particular those attributed to the Fédération Française de Rugby.”
However, speaking to the UK’s Times newspaper, Laporte continued to insist that: “We want World Rugby to issue a list of corrections on the material mistakes that have been spotted. We want to give the delegates the correct facts so that they have accurate information. I think France still has a great chance of winning the vote.”
Among the FFR’s concerns are the report’s comments over France’s doping laws, the economics of the tournament, the availability of stadia, and French laws over advertising alcohol.
Under the five main criteria assessed by the board, South Africa scored highest in three: 'tournament, organisation and schedule'; 'venues and host cities'; and 'tournament infrastructure'. France scored highest for the remaining two, ‘vision and hosting concept’ and ‘finance, commercial and commitment’, with Ireland trailing in second or third place on all five.
South Africa's bid apparently offered the highest financial guarantee to World Rugby, worth £160 million ($213 million), followed by France's with £150 million and Ireland, which offered the minimum guarantee of £120 million.
A final decision on the host will be made by World Rugby’s ruling Council on 15 November.