Following a year-long investigation, which culminated in an extraordinary general meeting of the RLEF membership, Greek rugby league’s governing body has been suspended indefinitely for wilfully acting in a manner prejudicial to the interests of the RLEF and international rugby league.
“The RLEF felt it was important to impose special administrative measures to arrest further deterioration of the situation and rebuild the sport in Greece,” said RLEF General Manager Danny Kazandjian, stressing: “The Hellenic Federation of Rugby League has not been expelled.”
“We have briefed the Greek ministry of culture and will remain in contact with them as we introduce such measures that will contribute to a strong rugby league organisation there.”
According to the RLEF constitution, any suspension must be endorsed by the general assembly and, following the unprecedented meeting, the membership voted 33-1 by secret ballot in favour of the resolution to suspend HFRL, handing the RLEF a clear mandate to act.
The RLEF has been monitoring events in Greece since last March, stemming from HFRL’s lodgement of its annual membership audit.
In July a large number of local participants lodged a formal complaint against the HFRL and, in October, Malta Rugby League did likewise after Greece’s decision to forfeit their European Championship C match, a decision which damaged MRL politically and financially.
The lengthy RLEF investigation, which included an unannounced fact-finding mission to Athens by RLIF CEO David Collier and RLEF Central & Eastern Europe Director Jovan Vujosevic in February 2016, concluded that the HFRL Board had repeatedly misled the RLEF concerning its financial management.
“We have concluded the first phase of the process to rehabilitate Greek rugby league,” continued Kazandjian. “This process has endorsed our governance practices and the unequivocal support of the membership is very important. The second phase will now commence. In collaboration with every member of the Greek rugby league community with a genuine interest in the game’s health, the RLEF will implement structures and administrative practices that will ensure that Greek citizens can participate in a well organised sport run on an ethical and inclusive basis.”