RUGBY’s soccer world championship will take place in France – where the sport was once banned – in 2025 and it could unlock ‘huge potential’.
There will also be no ‘missed opportunities’ as there have been in the past.
The tournament will be held on the Channel for the first time in more than 50 years after the North American plan fell through.
40 cities will host the matches – more than 100 cities of interest include Paris, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice, as well as the Catalans Dragons’ home ground, Perpignan.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex, who referred to the Vichy government’s ban on sports in the 1940s, said: “France is the land of major sporting events, which represents a tremendous asset to the world of football. economic attractiveness and social cohesion in our regions.
“The Rugby World Cup is a fantastic opportunity for the many regions and cities that want to participate in this dynamic and I wholeheartedly support it.”
And Troy Grant, President of the International Rugby Union, believes it is time to address the mistakes made in the first hosting of the World Cup in 1954.
“The rebirth of international rugby league in France has been a strategic goal for decades,” he said. The dream that is about to come true definitely energizes me.
“In world sport, the competition over the last 30 years has been enormous, on just one sports platform.
“Then, for young people and the community, there are many other options to get involved. As with any sport, the challenge is only growing in popularity.
“The secret to always being a successful sport is strong governance and connection to the community.
“I knew it would be a great strength for France in the World Cup. That connectivity would be a good alternative. There may have been missed opportunities in the past but there won’t be any in the future.”
French federation president Luc Lacoste hopes the €59m (£49m) tournament will increase participation by 25% and women’s by 450%.
Across four editions – for men, women, wheelchair and Under 19 – he is aiming to sell 822,000 tickets, with organizers saying: “France 2025 will be everyone’s competition. The average price of a ticket will be under 30 Euros”.
https://www.thesun.ie/sport/8191392/rugby-league-world-cup-france/ World Cup coming to France in 2025