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Govt Must Take Responsibility For World Cup Loss

23 July 2002

Govt Must Take Responsibility For Loss Of World Cup

The Government must take some responsibility for New Zealand missing out on joint-hosting the Rugby World Cup, says National Leader Bill English.

"The bungling of New Zealand missing out on the World Cup clearly goes back to October last year when the Government refused to support the NZRFU's bid.

"That refusal was the beginning of a bad relationship between Trevor Mallard and Vernon Pugh which culminated in the disgusting Heineken comments described by Sir Thomas Eichelbaum as an inexcusable attack.

"Rugby fans will be appalled to find the Government refused to support the Rugby World Cup but at the same time has spent millions of dollars on promoting the America's Cup in Helen Clark's back yard.

The report noted 'the financial benefits of RWC to any country is huge and only the most impecunious or negative agency would not do everything in its power to secure such an event.'

"The Australian Government saw the benefits by contributing substantial funding, when New Zealand didn't. Both Trevor Mallard and Helen Clark have to take some responsibility.

"The report shows Trevor Mallard's Johnny-come-lately attempt in March to get involved in the bid for the Cup was a cover for his earlier failure to act. It was hardly surprising Vernon Pugh did not reply to Mr Mallard after his disgusting attack," Mr English said.


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