Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Double trouble

I see that the IRB has announced it will decide the venues of the World Cups of 2015 and 2019 at the same time next July, in an attempt to give one of the "smaller" rugby nations a chance at hosting it.

The idea is that it should in theory make it more realistic for conservative IRB delegates to vote for countries such as Japan perhaps, or USA or Italy - despite the fact that the sporting and tourist infrastructure in these countries should already demand consideration on their merits. Whether the decision will reduce the amount of dubious horse-trading among delegates, therefore, remains to be seen.

According to IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset, while it's important that the World Cup be held regularly in one of the IRB's "senior core markets," the tournament's commercial success means they can now consider placing the tournament in "new developing markets to assist the game's strategic growth."

How this all squares with the IRB's decision to award the 2011 World Cup to New Zealand is anyone's guess. I'm sure the IRB would argue that the Land of the Long White Cloud is one of their "senior core markets" but, in terms of revenue generating capability and infrastructure, New Zealand can be considered no more than a "developing market." After all, wasn't a core component of their bid that if they weren't awarded the tournament this time then they wouldn't be able to compete with unions with bigger financial clout in the future?

1 comment:

Nursedude said...

In the US, we do have the history of putting on a good show that also can turn a profit like the Summer Olympics in 1984 and 1996, the Winter Olympics in 2002 and the FIFA world cup in 1994. On the other hand, Japan's national team has really improved a whole lot-they tied Canada in RWC 2007-a team that has been kicking sand on the US for a long time-at least at has been a long time since we have beat the canucks in an international. The Japanese have shown that they can do a good job with organization. In the US, the distances can be very great, but intra-country transport is less expensive in the US compared to Japan. I would have to think that Argentina would merit some consideration as well. Still, I think either the US or Japan can do a good job organizing a RWC.