'We share IRFU's disappointment' - GAA describe World Cup snub as 'big loss to whole country'
GAA Director-General, Paraic Duffy has expressed disappointment over the IRFU’S failed bid to stage the 2023 rugby World Cup, describing it as "a big loss to the whole country".
The bid could not have proceeded in the first place without the support of the GAA, who pledged to provide several venues, including Croke Park which would have hosted the final.
"Congress and Central Council backed it from the start. We all felt it was our duty to support a project like this which was very much in the national interest. It's very disappointing to hear that the bid has been unsuccessful but given the evaluation report a few weeks ago it was always going to be difficult to get enough support. The oversight committee worked very hard over to reverse the position but they haven't succeeded and I feel sorry for them," he said.
Paying tribute to the quality of the bid, Duffy said that no effort had been spared to put the best package together.
"All those involved worked very hard over a number of years on this project. I know at first hand the quality of the bid they put together and the huge effort that was put in so I share their disappointment," he said.
The GAA stood to make a considerable windfall if the bid had been accepted as, in addition to having grounds upgraded to a level required for the World Cup, they would also have earned rent money for each game played at their venues.
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