CAPE TOWN – The International Netball Federation (INF) on Thursday named South Africa as the 2023 Netball World Cup hosts.
The announcement was made in Cape Town by Molly Rhone, the president of the International Netball Federation, the international governing body of netball, the world’s No 1 women’s team sport.
“On behalf of the Board of the International Netball Federation, I am delighted to announce that Netball South Africa has been awarded the rights to host the 2023 Netball World Cup,” Rhone said.
“We were delighted to receive two exceptional bids, and the INF Board was satisfied that both Netball New Zealand and Netball South Africa would be capable of hosting a successful and thrilling NWC2023.
“The INF Board decided that the significant investment that the South African government and Western Cape were prepared to make over the next four years in netball facilities, and coaching programmes in South Africa, the African continent and beyond would deliver a greater impact on the development of global netball.
“It is an exciting time for netball right now. Our sport is growing in popularity at an unprecedented rate throughout the world.
“There is increasing competitiveness between the top nations, and now three teams from Africa feature in the top 10 of the INF World Rankings.
“We look forward to working with the Organising Committee to bring the INF’s most important event to South Africa in 2023.”
There was great rejoicing at the International Convention Centre when Rhone named South Africa.
South Africa, along with New Zealand, were the two bidders to host world netball’s holy grail in 2023. Their bids were presented to the INF’s Bid Evaluation Committee (BEC) in Singapore late last year.
Moments after the announcement in Cape Town, Netball New Zealand graciously accepted, but expressed its disappointment.
“We’re very disappointed we were not awarded the hosting rights for what is the pinnacle event within the world netball calendar. This would have been a fitting way to celebrate 100 years of netball in New Zealand,” said Allison Ferguson, NNZ Board Chair, said in a statement.
“I know we would have done a superb job and we certainly had the support of our netball community, Government and venues, to have made this an outstanding Netball World Cup event.
“On behalf of Netball New Zealand and the netball community in New Zealand, I wish Netball South Africa all the best with their preparations to host the Netball World Cup in 2023.
“The Netball World Cup is the pinnacle event for our sport, and we know Netball South Africa will be working hard to ensure it is delivered to a world-class standard.”
What a joyous day for women’s sport in South Africa! NSA President Cecilia Molokwane with INF President the Honorable Molly Rhone celebrating South Africa’s #NWC2023 bid win!#HandsUp2023 #NetballSouthAfrica #WeAreAllIn pic.twitter.com/MrHg4GAehR— Netball South Africa (@Netball_SA) March 7, 2019
New Zealand has already staged world netball’s premier event three times (Auckland 1975, Christchurch 1999, Auckland 2007).
For South Africa, it will the first time, in fact, a first for the continent of Africa.
The tournament will be held in the International Convention Centre in the heart of Cape Town.
The Netball World Cup is a 10-day tournament, and 16 nations will play 60 matches.
African News Agency (ANA)