S. African Deputy President travels to London in support of Rugby World Cup bid

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-13 10:10:07|Editor: Zhou Xin
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CAPE TOWN, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will return to London to make a final effort in support of the country's bid to host the prestigious Rugby World Cup 2023, the President's office announced on Sunday.

Ramaphosa's visit will demonstrate the South African government's support for and commitment to the effort to return the tournament to the African continent in the 21st century, Ramaphosa's acting spokesperson Tyrone Seale said.

Ramaphosa will leave for London on Monday, leading a high-level delegation to reaffirm South Africa's readiness to host the event, according to Seale.

In September, Ramaphosa led the South African Rugby World Cup Bid Team to London to present the country's case to host the 2023 tournament that will take place 200 years after the invention of the game of rugby by William Webb Ellis.

The South African bid had previously been named as the "clear leader" and "unanimous" choice of the Rugby World Cup board to host the tournament. This follows an exhaustive tendering, clarification and evaluation process. Contenders France and Ireland were rated second and third, respectively.

The final announcement is expected to be made in London on November 15.

The final decision rests with 26 World Rugby Council members who collectively exercise 39 votes and among whom a simple majority is required to secure the hosting rights. The three bidding countries do not vote.

South Africa expects the tournament, if held in the country, to help stimulate the economy and further boost its tourism and hospitality sectors.

During his upcoming visit to London, Ramaphosa will be accompanied by Sport and Recreation Minister Thulas Nxesi, SA Rugby President Mark Alexander and Chief Executive Officer Jurie Roux, who laid out South Africa's technically and commercially compelling case to host the tournament in September.