World Rugby dismiss Laporte’s complaints over World Cup evaluation process

French federation president was scathing of process that recommended South Africa stage event in 2023

French Rugby Federation president Bernard Laporte attends a training session of the French national team  in Marcoussis near Paris on Wednesday. Photograph: Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images

French Rugby Federation president Bernard Laporte attends a training session of the French national team in Marcoussis near Paris on Wednesday. Photograph: Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images

 

World Rugby has dismissed French complaints about the 2023 World Cup evaluation process as unfounded and inaccurate and said the governing body’s board followed a transparent process in recommending South Africa as hosts ahead of France and Ireland.

French federation president Bernard Laporte told Reuters on Friday that World Rugby’s evaluation report was “nonsense”, full of blatant errors and a result of incompetence. Last week the Irish bid team said they were surprised by the findings and vowed to compete until the end to host the event.

Ahead of the decisive vote by the governing body’s council on November 15th, World Rugby said on Saturday that they would raise their concerns with the French federation over Laporte’s comments.

“World Rugby has implemented a transparent, objective, professional and robust host selection process,” they said in a statement.

“While disappointment and high-emotion following the announcement of a recommendation is understandable, such comments are both unfounded and inaccurate.

“The comprehensive technical evaluation has been undertaken by a team of World Rugby and third-party experts, independently scrutinised by The Sports Consultancy against agreed scoring criteria.” That comment related to Laporte’s complaint that too much of the evaluation process had been carried out by World Rugby employees.

World Rugby said the process had been supported by host candidates, the Rugby World Cup Board and Council throughout.

“We will be raising our concerns with the Federation Francaise de Rugby and look forward to the World Rugby Council appointing the Rugby World Cup 2023 host on Nov. 15 with a clear, comprehensive and objective recommendation to consider.”

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