With preparations well underway for the 2018, U19s European Championships in Belgrade this August, the RLEF has now confirmed that four nations are preparing bids to host the tournament in 2020. The selected 2020 host country will be announced, following a six-month tender process and evaluation period, and the Federation has also confirmed the bidding schedule for the 2022 and 2024 competitions.
“We are pleased with the progress the revised U19 European Championship is making,” said RLEF general manager, Danny Kazandjian. The process has been consultative from the beginning and all involved understand the importance of a structured youth programme, and advanced planning. The four nations who are bidding to host the competition offer a really exciting prospect with the whole of the continent now being covered, and to add an extra dimension the games will be held alongside the RLEF congress.”
The tender process for the 2022 competition will open this September, with bid documents to be lodged in April 2019 and a preferred host selected the following month. That same sequence will begin again in 2020 for the 2024 Championship, whose host will be selected in May 2021.
Meanwhile, the deadline for nominating match officials for the 2018 tournament has now closed, with a total of 20 nominees from 12 countries received and member nations limited to nominating a maximum of two.
“This year’s tournament is poised to see the widest range of nations ever, officiating at an international rugby league tournament,” said Kazandjian. “It clearly demonstrates the progress we have been making in systematically educating, mentoring, evaluating and improving referees throughout Europe. The majority of the officials who have been nominated are from non-traditional rugby league nations, and have been on the RLEF development system we launched in 2016.”
Following the tournament, the best performing officials will be placed on the next stage of their performance pathway, with potential inclusion in the 2021 World Cup match officials squad one of the intended aims.