Pienaar heralds strength of SA World Cup bid
March 10, 2005

South Africa's RWC'11 bid chairman Francois Pienaar has re-iterated what he thinks are the factors that make his country the ideal venue for the game's global showpiece.

The World Cup-winning former Springbok skipper was speaking at a press conference to report on the progress of the bid.

In particular Pienaar highlighted that the complete infrastructure would be in place already due to the fact that South Africa will have hosted the football World Cup the year before.

"We are arguing that we are in a unique position of being able to offer two for one by hosting the Rugby World Cup using what has been put in place already for the soccer. Australia are an example of a country that saw the value of building on the platform set up by the staging of a prior major event," said Pienaar.

"They staged the Olympics in 2000, and since then they have hosted a highly successful Lions tour as well as a massively successful Rugby World Cup. They have placed the infrastructure and the organisational expertise in place and are now planning to go on from there to stage events like the Commonwealth Games.

"Having the FIFA World Cup here the year before means that everything will be in place. We can draw on the stadiums used in the World Cup soccer, as the French are planning to do in 2007. The systems put in place for the soccer can just carry through to the following year, and the security expenditure will be less because that will also already be in place.

"The people who work on the soccer can also make their expertise available to us the following year. We have estimated that the Rugby World Cup will provide an economic boost to South Africa of R11-billion, with R6,5-billion of that coming from foreign visitors.

"Another way it will help alleviate poverty will be by the creation of 25 000 jobs, many of those jobs being filled by people who would have received training ahead of the soccer World Cup and who will just carry on for the rugby event.

"We are just an overnight flight from Europe, which is where most of the foreign visitors to the World Cup come from. At the World Cup held in Australia there were 85 000 foreign visitors, of which it was estimated that 60 000 came from Europe. It is projected that we could attract 145 000 fans here in 2011, of which 110 000 will come from Europe.

"Apart from the facilities, South Africa has the climate and outstanding, top class accommodation. Together with our rugby culture, we are in a position to stage the biggest party ever."

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