French rugby secures financial backing for 2023 WCup bid

PARIS (AP) — The French rugby federation says it has secured a commitment from the French state to pay the tournament fee to organizers in its bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The French federation said on Monday it gave two separate financial guarantees to World Rugby, amounting to just under $480 million (407 million euros).

The first guarantee, underwritten by the French state, is for around $200 million and surpasses the $158 million fee requested by World Rugby. The rest of the money, which has been set aside for organizational costs, will be provided by a French private bank.

French federation president Bernard Laporte said "this commitment reflects the support of French president (Emmanuel Macron) to the organization of the 2023 World Cup."

The French federation declined to reveal the bank's identity.

France is up against Ireland and South Africa for the 2023 hosting rights. The host will be selected in November.

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