The RLEF has granted Observer status to the Greek Rugby League Association. The GRLA, which is registered in Athens, was incorporated on 28 February 2017, and is the governing body of the four clubs that participate in the domestic competition: Patras, Rhodes Knights, Aris Eagles and Attica Rhinos.
A temporary six-person board of directors will sit until May, when elections will be held to vote-in a more permanent group, with a four-year mandate. The interim president is George Stilianos, who has led the Greek rugby league community through a hiatus in 2015-16 which culminated in expulsion from the RLEF, late last year, of the now defunct Hellenic Rugby League Federation for severe governance breaches.
“For the last two years we have kept rugby league going despite regular threats, bullying and hostilities towards us,” said Stilianos. “This is a great day for rugby league in Greece, and we welcome anyone and everyone who shares our passion and desire to develop and grow the game, to come and join us.
“We are committed to doing things the right way, with transparency, fairness and respect. We look forward to returning to the international scene. But our top priority – as it has always been – remains our domestic development.”
The four-team competition played a mixture of 13 and 9-a-side games in the 2015-16 season, but for the current campaign is committed exclusively 13-a-side. The GRLA has 14 qualified and active match officials and 11 Level 1 coaches.
“We have been doing our best to keep in line with the high standards of good governance set by the RLEF and we intend to continue that way, ensuring that democratic procedures are followed,” Stilianos added.