The National Cricket Federation in South Africa, together with the National Rugby Federation, has been banned from bidding for or hosting any major international tournaments for at least a year. The ban is a result of the federation’s failure to create more opportunities for black players.
The announcement was made by Minister Fikile Mbalula after he received a report on “transformation” in the country’s top five sports: rugby, cricket, football, athletics and netball. Football was the only one of the sports that met its target.
EPG Transformation Status Report 2014/15
— RSA Min of Sport (@MbalulaFikile) April 26, 2016
In his announcement Mbalula “revoke[d] the privilege” for the other sports’ major federations to “host and bid for major and mega international tournaments”. He went on to say that the decision will be reviewed when he has received the results of the respective federations’ efforts for the 2016-17 season. This means that it could be at the end of next year or at this time in 2018.
The decision may prevent South Africa from bidding to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup which would be a blow as the South African Rugby Union had already announced its intention to bid for the tournament. The tender documents will be released to interested countries by World Rugby in May and they will have until June to formally confirm their intention to bid.
The cricket federation has said that its officials will go into closed-door meetings with sports ministry officials.
For a number of years the South African government has been pushing for the country’s most popular sports, in particular rugby and cricket, to create more opportunities for black players. The sports are still dominated by white people despite the fact that black people make up over 80% of the country’s population.
Back in 2014 the federations agreed on transformation targets with the government.