World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont denied being humiliated after the global game voted against the recommendation and France was named hosts of the 2023 Rugby World Cup. South Africa did not even get the backing of the African continental association.
The 2023 Rugby World Cup would have benefitted only a few individuals and not the entire country as it was presented in the SA bid book, and more money would have been spent to spruce up the existing infrastructure, which are of high maintenance since they were erected in 2010. Ireland was then eliminated and the vote was a straight shootout between South Africa and France.
Beaumont had previously said he wanted the Council to follow the Board.
"We can not hide our desolation but, for the sake of rugby we wish the 2023 tournament hosts every success", ark Alexander, President of SA Rugby, said.
"We produced a compelling bid document that earned the unanimous recommendation of the Rugby World Cup Ltd board".
South Africa had been the preferred bidder for the tournament and Gumede had invited guests to view the announcement at the presidential suite in Moses Mabhida Stadium.
"There's always got to be one recommendation in the evaluation process and that was South Africa. That recommendation was questioned last week by rivals, but endorsed a second time by World Rugby last week", Alexander said.
"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".
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Whether development aid is offered "to the government, it will depend on what will happen in Zimbabwe", Donald Yamamoto said.
"It will be for the next generation of SA Rugby leaders to decide whether to compete for the 2027 tournament or beyond", he said. "We now look forward to working in partnership with France to deliver what I am sure will be a very successful Rugby World Cup in 2023".
Whilst bitterly disappointing, why should we be surprised at not being awarded RWC 2023, despite ostensibly being the front runners for the award?
Senator Leyden added: "I wouldn't lose the Scottish vote or the Welsh vote".
"We have a huge French community in Africa".
"But we'd have equally enjoyed going to South Africa... we particularly feel for South Africa who probably thought they had it won a couple of weeks ago".
South Africa hit out at a process described by its union's chief executive, Jurie Roux, as "exhaustive and transparent for 15 months" only to go "entirely opaque for the past two weeks".
Alexander said after this disappointment they do not know where to go from here.