France will not be hosting the 2025 World Cup.
Many will ask the question why?
The statement released by tournament organisers sheds some light on this:
“On Monday May 15th 2023, an exceptional Board meeting of France2025 was held to deliberate on the finalization of the economic and financial model for the Rugby League World Cup 2025, whose organization was given to France by the International Rugby League.
“Despite all the work carried out by the Organizing Committee, it hasn’t been possible to fully secure the risk of a deficit.
“Despite the interest shown in this unique sport for all event with 4 competitions in one (Wheelchair, Women’s, Men’s, Youth) and accessible to all thanks to our ticketing rates, and despite the desire shown by several cities across France to host World Cup matches, the Board had to decide to renounce organizing this major international competition, which the International Rugby League had entrusted to France. The conditions of financial viability initially defined by the State to support the project, set in January 2022, were not fully met, despite the search for solutions and the additional three months granted by the State to the organizing committee at the end of 2022.
“This difficult decision was taken so as not to threaten the robustness of the major international sporting event models that France now wishes to promote.”
Meanwhile the IRL’s own statement on the matter sheds further light on why this decision was made:
“The France 2025 board of directors felt they had no choice after the French Government demanded a guarantee for the risk of loss for the event, considering that the conditions initially set to secure the economic viability of the event were not met, after additional time and funding provided to the committee by the French Government to that end. ”
That said, a spokesperson for the tournament has confirmed to Serious About Rugby League that “it was not 100% guaranteed” that the tournament would operate at a loss.