France Offers Extra €34M To World Rugby For Hosting Rights To 2023 World Cup
France is "using financial incentives in an effort to overtake Ireland in the race to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup," according to Ziegler & Lowe of the LONDON TIMES. World Rugby requires the host nation to pay a €135M ($160.3M) fee to stage the tournament, which the Irish government has said it will pay "up front." France's bid execs have now said that they will pay an extra €34M ($40.4M) to the world governing body. There are "echoes of Qatar's offer" of €26.5M to int'l athletics as "additional incentives" just minutes before the vote in which Doha was awarded the 2019 IAAF World Championships. Ireland's bid is the "frontrunner in a three-way contest with France and South Africa." It has never before hosted the tournament but has a "powerful financial case and the potential to tap into 40 million people with Irish roots" in North America. French Rugby Federation (FFR) President Bernard Laporte is "under pressure over an alleged conflict of interest" because of his relationship with Top14 side Montpellier. France 2023 Bid Dir Claude Atcher insisted that the Paris Olympics "would not have a negative impact." He claimed the financial pledges to World Rugby would help to prevent int'l rugby from "dying." Atcher said, "You have to pay a fee to host. It is a minimum. We have proposed not €135 million but €169 million ($200.7M). This fee is 100 percent guaranteed by the French government" (LONDON TIMES, 9/20).