World Rugby rejects post-virus international cup fundraiser plan

File: A former chief executive of England's Rugby Football Union put forward a scheme to stage a 16-team invitational tournament.

File: A former chief executive of England's Rugby Football Union put forward a scheme to stage a 16-team invitational tournament.

Reuters/Matthew Childs

LONDON - World Rugby has dismissed an idea for a major international tournament to be held in England next year designed to ease the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis less than a day after it was made public.

Francis Baron, a former chief executive of England's Rugby Football Union, put forward a scheme to stage a 16-team invitational tournament to be staged in Britain and Ireland next June and July based on the 2015 World Cup hosted by England.

READ: World Rugby postpones July Tests over coronavirus

Baron, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, forecast the World Cup-type event could generate a net profit for distribution to unions of £200-250 million.

This would be in addition to the £80-million World Rugby support funding package already in place for a global game shut down by COVID-19. 

But Baron's plan would also have needed the 2021 British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa in July and August to be postponed by a year. 

READ: World Rugby says no bailouts for virus-stricken SANZAAR countries

And a statement issued by rugby union's global governing body on Wednesday said of his scheme: "World Rugby does not intend to pursue such a proposal.

"All stakeholders continue to progress productive discussions regarding the immediate global COVID-19 financial relief strategy and international rugby calendar optimisation, both of which will further the success of Rugby World Cup 2023 in France."

Source
AFP