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SPORT

Barcelona makes sailing history after being named America’s Cup host

Barcelona will become the first venue to stage an Olympic Games (1992) and an America's Cup after it was awarded the hosting of the latter for the 2024 edition on Tuesday.

Barcelona makes sailing history after being named America's Cup host
The America's Cup, informally known as the Auld Mug, is a trophy awarded in the sport of sailing. It is the oldest international competition still operating in any sport(Photo by DEAN TREML / AFP)

As reigning champions, Team New Zealand had the right to decide the host city and chose Barcelona.

A statement on the official America’s Cup website described Barcelona as having “world class facilities” for racing, “as well as an average wind range of 9 to 15 knots during the September and October race window”, which makes the city “completely fit for purpose”.

Team New Zealand defended the Auld Mug last year after beating the Italian team, Luna Rossa.

Team New Zealand chief executive Grant Dalton said: “Barcelona really is one of the most recognised cities in the world so to have the ability to host the most recognised sailing event in the world is hugely exciting.”

“When thinking ahead to the 37th America’s Cup and the AC75’s racing within a few hundred metres of the Barcelona beach, waterfront, and race village fan engagement zones it will be nothing less than spectacular,” Dalton added.

Barcelona beat Malaga and Jeddah in the bidding and takes over from Auckland as host.

The America’s Cup was first contested in 1851 and claims to be the oldest competition in international sport.

Barcelona mayor Ada Colau said: “This should serve to promote the city to the world after the pandemic, to benefit Barcelona’s tradition of this sport in a city by the sea and in addition, to boost the emerging sector of innovation and technology, linked to nautical activities.”

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RUGBY

Spain miss out on Rugby World Cup after appeal rejected

Spain will not figure at next year's Rugby World Cup in France after their appeal against disqualification for fielding an ineligible player during qualifying was rejected, World Rugby announced on Monday.

Spain miss out on Rugby World Cup after appeal rejected

After examining new evidence brought by the Spanish federation, an independent appeal committee “dismissed the appeal”, World Rugby said in a statement.

“In accordance with World Rugby rules, the decision of the independent appeal committee is final and cannot be appealed again,” it added.

The ruling confirmed that Romania will take Spain’s place at next year’s tournament while Portugal — the team Spain beat to seal their place at France 2023 — have taken the spot vacated by Romania in the final qualification event taking place in November.

South African-born prop Gavin van den Berg, who has been playing in Spain since 2018, featured in two qualifiers against the Netherlands in 2020 and 2021 but was deemed not to have served the three years of residency needed to become eligible under World Rugby rules.

It is the second time that Spain have missed out on World Cup qualification on these grounds.

In 2018, along with Romania and Belgium, they were were sanctioned for fielding ineligible players, paving the way for Russia to qualify for the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

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