Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Friday, November 18, 2005

The lost cup
South African rugby came crashing down to earth last night with an early elimination from the IRB decision-making on the hosting of the 2011 RWC. On paper, we had the best bid by far; time-zones, ticket sales, ease of travel, financial returns, proven skills, infrastructure (from 2010 Soccer WC) etc. However, we were missing one thing - administrative stability.

SARU was warned by the IRB earlier this year that the only thing that would derail our bid was their incessant bickering and in-fighting. Francois Pienaar had numerous meetings with Brian van Rooyen to try to clear the air up in the SARU corridors of power, but to no avail. The chickens have come home to roost, and what would have been an immensely enriching event for South African rugby has become another debacle, with the blame to be laid squarely with Van Rooyen and his clowns at SARU.

The time for a long-term cleansing of South African rugby has come. Bring in a rugby administrator with ethics, integrity and most importantly, the interests of South African rugby at heart, not their own pockets. A person like Morne du Plessis springs to mind, although I understand the slim chance of having a white chief administrator in South Africa. Something has to be done, and it begins at the top.