26 Apr 2016

Four South African sport federations banned from bidding

12:20 pm on 26 April 2016

South Africa's sports minister has banned four of the country's sport federations from bidding for major international tournaments after they failed to create enough opportunities for black players.

South Africa black Test cricketer Temba Bavuma.

South Africa black Test cricketer Temba Bavuma Photo: AFP

Rugby, cricket, athletics and netball are the affected federations.

The South African Rugby Union had said it would bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup by the time of the June deadline.

But minister Fikile Mbalula said the ban was in place for at least a year.

The South African government has long encouraged the country's main sport, rugby union, to create more opportunities for black players.

The country's five major sports federations agreed on various transformation targets with the government in 2014, but football was the only one to meet its target.

"I have therefore resolved to revoke the privilege of Athletics South Africa, Cricket South Africa, Netball South Africa and South African rugby to host and bid for major and mega international tournaments," Mbalula said in a statement.

The ban comes into effect immediately and Mbalula said the decision will be reviewed after he has received the results of the federations' transformation efforts for 2016-17, which could be as late as 2018.

Both the rugby and cricket federations said their officials would go into closed-door meetings with sports ministry officials after the announcement.

Athletics South Africa said it would need to study the "pronouncement'' made by Mbalula before commenting.

The ban will not affect the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which has already been awarded to Durban, as the bid was led by the South African Olympic committee.