World Cup could cost SA Super14 final

If a South African team reaches the 2010 Super14 final with home advantage they could be forced to forfeit the advantage as the date clashes with FIFA’s world cup window.


SA Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins and the chief executive of the World Cup organising committee, Danny Jordaan will meet each other this week in order to discuss the possibility of a South African team reaching the Super 14 final with home advantage.


Even though the Super 14 ends in May the World Cup kicks off on the 11th of June and FIFA has decreed that no rival events may take place in host cities around the world cup.


“Danny Jordaan has asked for a meeting with me because I understand he has some reservations about the common use of stadiums and the logistics around that,” Hoskins told The Times.


“I’m not entirely sure what he wants to discuss, but after the meeting we’ll have more clarity.


“Looking through the correspondence in preparation for the meeting, I’m confident that we, as Saru, have not fallen foul of any regulations.”


“I think that soccer is hoping to find a solution to what could be a logistical issue if one of our sides hosts the Super 14 final.”


“Stadiums have to be clear of non-Fifa approved signage and they have to be set up for football matches, and there could be a clash with time frames. I get a sense that they need more time.”


The Super 14 final date is set at May the 29th which is a Saturday and the opening match of the World Cup is on June the 11th – a Friday and Fifa will officially take control of the stadiums on May the 25th.


According to Hoskins a 15-day “no use” period exists before the World Cup which means that the latest date a World cup rival event could take place is on the 27th of May which is a Thursday.


SANZAR are unlikely to move the Super 14 final to a Thursday so the match would have to be held outside of South Africa – or in stadium which is not a world cup host city. Most of South Africa’s big stadiums are in host cities and are being used by the world cup so it almost completely rules out South Africa hosting the event.


SARU are already battling to find a venue that FIFA will allow them to play a visiting French team on June the 12th which was supposed to take place in Cape Town.


Given the sport’s rocky relations with the government, any attempt to play hardball at the World Cup’s expense will be viewed in a grim light, especially by Saru’s old enemy, Butana Khompela, chairman of the sports portfolio committee.


One plan is to take the Test to Wembley in London, as there won’t be a time zone issue, but Saru is still hopeful that it will receive Fifa’s blessing to go ahead at Newlands.

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