New Zealand’s hopes of hosting the 2023 Netball World Cup in its centenary year has been dashed after South Africa were announced bid winners.

Disappointment is putting it mildly for Netball New Zealand after missing out on the chance to celebrate netball’s centenary year in New Zealand by hosting a World Cup.

It was brought to light in November last year that New Zealand was in a bidding war with South Africa to host the pinnacle event, South Africa bidding for Cape Town and New Zealand for Auckland.

Overnight, International Netball Federation’s president Molly Rhone announced that while both bids were equally competitive, the African nation’s pledge to further the sport in both coaching and playing got Cape Town over the line.

“Where I think South Africa stood out was in their legacy programme to provide 16 strong wooden floors throughout different areas,” says Rhone

“There were also very strong in their provision of the assistance to delegates to get to congress, we sent the bids to our members and several of them favoured going to South Africa.”

“The fact they are going to invest so much into coaching not just here but helping other countries.”

South Africa’s successful bid to host the 16th staging of the event is a first for any African nation, South Africa are also the only top five ranked nation to not yet hold the event, a reason NNZ CEO Jennie Wyllie believes played heavily in their favour.

“It is disappointing not to be successful, but we certainly want to wish South Africa all the very best,” say Wyllie

“It’s so multi-faceted so we knew where our strengths lie and we’re really proud of that this is about where the INF saw an opportunity for expansion in the game.”

Wyllie didn’t receive direct feedback on the INF’s decision however knows the criteria and can see where New Zealand’s strengths lay as well as South Africa’s and Wyllie isn’t ruling out another bid for 2027.

“They looked at a proven track record in hosting major events which we scored highly in, a safety element and organisational capability were our areas strength,” says Wyllie

“They told us it was really close, and it came down to fine details around the decision and they’re excited to have the first World Cup on an African continent.”

“We always need to be open to the next thing and certainly we’ll get our thinking caps on… I wouldn’t rule it out, we’re not going to let this announcement hold us back from the next stage.”

The 2019 Netball World Cup will be played in Liverpool, England in July.

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