Christchurch loses Rugby World Cup matches because of earthquake

Posted Mar 16, 2011 by Kimberley Pollock
Rugby World Cup organiser's announced today that earthquake-devastated Christchurch will not host any matches at this year's Rugby World Cup.
All Blacks v Italy
All Blacks v Italy
Bruno Ideriha Flickr: NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)
The 6.3 magnitude earthquake on February 22 badly damaged the Ami Stadium at Lancaster Park with engineering consultants brought in to assess the damage.
Christchurch was scheduled to host five pool matches and two quarter-finals but today organiser's announced the Stadium's owners could not guarantee the city's stadium would be repaired in time for the start of the Rugby World Cup in September.
International Rugby Board Chairman, Bernard Lapasset, travelled to Christchurch to make the announcement and is quoted on the Rugby World Cup's 2011 website as saying:
“Yesterday we were informed by Stadium Christchurch operator Vbase that it could not guarantee that the extensive repairs required for both the stadium structures and the playing surface could be completed in time. That information means that Tournament partners have been left with no choice but to make the difficult decision to reallocate the seven matches due to be played in Christchurch.
This has been a hard decision for all involved, given the place of Canterbury in New Zealand Rugby and the tremendous enthusiasm and support that the people of Christchurch have displayed for RWC 2011. The thoughts of the global Rugby family continue to be with the people of Christchurch and everyone affected as they focus on the city’s rebuilding process and repair of key public services and facilities.”
The quarter-finals will be moved to Eden Park in Auckland while the five other matches will be reallocated to other venues around the country.
The Rugby World Cup's 2011 website says ticket holders for the Christchurch matches will be offered the option of a refund or the opportunity to secure tickets to the relevant reallocated matches. Full details will be provided by the end of March.
In the meantime enjoy the Haka war cry from the New Zealand All Black's. They perform this at the start of each match to intimidate their opposition. Watch out world!