The RFL has this week welcomed the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) Board, hosting the organisation’s AGM, Executive Board meetings and the first delegate visits for Rugby League World Cup 2013.
Highlights of the week included the elevation of Serbia and Lebanon to full member status and the election of RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood as Deputy Chairman of the RLIF.
RLIF Chairman Scott Carter said: “The theme of this visit was very much RLWC2013 and the planning for the tournament but in addition the RLIF has begun changing the way it conducts its business taking a long term strategic view of the game and bringing governance procedures in line with modern sporting bodies.
“This business was also conducted in a harmonious and unified way.
“The group showed a renewed spirit of co-operation and a willingness to move forward with plans and ideas to strengthen and expand the international game. The great news about Serbia and Lebanon is testament to that.
“Plans for RLWC 2013 are well advanced and the RLIF Board is impressed with the progress made so far and is now looking forward to coming back for a fantastic tournament next year."
The group, including representatives of all 14 nations which will compete in Rugby League World Cup 2013, met in London on Tuesday and after an official reception at the House of Commons moved to Manchester on Wednesday for the AGM and various Executive Sub-Committee meetings.
The RLWC2013 delegates took part in various planning meetings and venue visits against the backdrop of the official announcement of Old Trafford, Manchester as the venue for the final on Saturday November 30 2013.
Other outcomes from the week included:
- Scott Carter of New Zealand was returned as Chairman of the RLIF;
- Nigel Wood of England elected as Deputy Chairman of the RLIF;
- First attendance of John Grant, Chair of the Australian Rugby League Commission;
- Colin Love, former Australian Rugby League Chairman and former Chairman of the RLIF, was granted life membership;
- Richard Lewis was recognised and thanked for his good work as Vice Chairman, before stepping down. The RLIF noted with sadness the passing of Hervé Guiraud, Secretary General of FFR XIII and RLEF representative;
- The inception of a new procedure for the allocation of RLIF development grants, which was warmly welcomed by the member nations;
- Agreement for the RLIF to pursue membership of Sport Accord.
Serbia RL Federation President Predrag Pantic said: “We are honoured that we have become a full member of the RLIF. This is great recognition for our work over the years and will be encouragement to us. This will mean an even greater contribution to the development of the sport that we love.
“We hope our membership of the RLIF will encourage other countries to follow our development path. With our experience and a stronger position in the RLIF we are able to contribute to strengthening the sport in the region. We thank the RLIF for their trust and belief in our efforts and will justify that trust.”
Lebanon RL Federation Mohammed Abbous said: "This is wonderful news for the LRLF, all our hard work has paid off. I would like to thank everyone involved with the LRLF, from the players, coaches, clubs, and board members, as it’s down to their dedication that we have reached this milestone.
“This will only help us in our future plans and growth strategy, and I'm excited for the future of Lebanese Rugby League."