Saracens will not host their European Cup match against Biarritz in Cape Town because of the conflict between the city council and WP Rugby.
Saracens announced the cancellation of their plans of taking the first European Cup fixture to the southern hemisphere on Thursday. This comes after negotiations between the Watford-based club, City of Cape Town and WP Rugby fell through this week.
The orginal plan was to play the match at Cape Town Stadium in Greenpoint, but as the host union, WP forced their hand and demanded that the match be played at Newlands. Saracens attempted to reason with the two parties but a failure to reach an agreement has seen the English Premiership champions cancel the initiative as they’ll now play the match in London.
‘The innovative Saracens were eager to host the first European Cup match ever played outside Europe, to stage a special, spectacular rugby event and to project brilliant images of Cape Town and European rugby around the world,’ said the club’s statement.
‘However, we have no wish to be a catalyst for conflict between the City of Cape Town and the Western Province Rugby Union. Saracens looks forward to playing a competitive match in Cape Town as soon as local circumstances allow.
‘Supporters who have bought tickets in South Africa will be fully refunded by Computicket, and Saracens will engage with UK-based supporters who have already booked air tickets and accommodation, and ensure they are appropriately compensated.’