Following this week’s tragic earthquake in Christchurch, many are worried that the adverse effects of the quake will directly impact the Rugby World Cup in September. More than 75 people were killed and numerous Christchurch buildings collapsed in Tuesday’s 6.3 magnitude quake. Lancaster Park, home of the Super 15 Crusaders, in Christchurch is scheduled to stage seven World Cup matches, but although the stadium was not majorly damaged (it has been closed for some minor repairs), the RWC planning committee will be assessing the city’s capability to stage games.
Richard Sneddon, CEO of RWC 2011, said in a statement ‘It is too early to talk in any detail about implications for the tournament in Christchurch and any assessment by us must wait while the rescue efforts take priority.
“The next step will involve our organisation leading a thorough process of assessing the city’s ability to host the seven RWC 2011 matches scheduled to take place there’
“This will involve an assessment of all the key RWC 2011 infrastructure of the city including the stadium, hotels, training facilities and the transport network.
“A detailed evaluation of this nature will take place as soon as is reasonably possible. We are mindful of the pressure the people of Christchurch are under right now and do not want to place any more demands on them.
“Christchurch is a proud rugby city with a rich rugby heritage and we know the tournament means a lot to fans there.
“We are hopeful a clearer picture will emerge in the coming days to allow us to make the right decisions.”
It seems therefore that the safety of the fans and the well-being of the city seem to be the priority of the committee which is taking completely the right approach to the matter. Christchurch is a beautiful city and the people of the city will need this celebration of rugby to try and move on from such a tragic event.