America, Africa and Middle East to create new Rugby League bodies

The Board of International Rugby League (IRL) has announced a six-step process to create new regional confederations for the administration of Rugby League worldwide.

Currently IRL has two Associate Members who represent the confederations – Asia Pacific Rugby League (APRL) represents, broadly, the Southern Hemisphere and the Rugby League European Federation (RLEF) represents the Northern Hemisphere.

But in recent years there has been a significant growth of participation and membership in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region and North and South America.

The roadmap sets out six steps, from concept to membership, to achieve recognition. At each step the IRL has set out objectives to demonstrate best practice around governance, technical and competitions, together with a membership criterion of a minimum of four full members and six affiliate members in the region.

After consultation with members, including at the RLEF Congress, each potential new region has already started the process of creating their steering group, drawn from the membership, to co-ordinate the project.

IRL Deputy Chair Graeme Thompson and regional managers Remond Safi, (MEA) and Romeo Monteith (Americas) are the architects of the roadmap.

“This is a welcome and timely development in our growth as an international sport,” said Thompson.

“We have seen the rapid growth of Rugby League in both the Americas and the MEA regions and it is entirely appropriate that we should be progressing them to self-govern within the overall IRL framework.

“This is a real collaboration with and between members in order to further support the international development of Rugby League.

“I anticipate that it will take at least two years for the first new confederations to become Associate Members, but it is fantastic to see the commitment and the enthusiasm from the members and staff in the regions who are leading this project. They are both advanced in the process and we are all ready to support their efforts.”

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