The RLEF has accepted an application by Rugby League Nigeria to become an Observer of the federation, meaning that a second West African country is now recognised, following Ghana.
“This is a testimony to all the work done so far, and will greatly serve as an elixir to greater speed in the development of rugby league in Nigeria,” said association president Uche Ezechiogbe.
“We are thankful for the trust bestowed on this great nation of vibrant sport-loving youths, and promise to be worthy ambassadors to the worldwide rugby league family, while working towards achieving an Affiliate status in the shortest possible time.”
Although RLN was formed in June 2013, Ezechiogbe – based in Lagos – had the idea of starting rugby league in Nigeria in twelve months earlier. In December 2012 he, along with two colleagues, attended a technical clinic in Accra to gain some practical knowledge and, since then, his association has been organising rugby league camps among various schools and youth organisations.
Warrington Wolves donated 50 balls for Nigerian rugby league development in 2013 to support the grassroots activity.
In addition, the Sierra Leone Rugby League Federation, which is recognised by its own National Olympic Committee, has applied but the Ebola epidemic has prevented officials obtaining one final document to complete the accreditation process.