The RLEF has confirmed that the Hellenic Federation of Rugby League (HFRL) has been suspended indefinitely, but not expelled, following investigations into its conduct.
A year-long investigation, which culminated in an extraordinary general meeting of the RLEF membership, found that the HRFL had acted 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.
““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.
After the unprecedented meeting, the membership voted 33-1 by secret ballot in favour of the resolution to suspend the HFRL.
This process gave the RLEF a clear mandate to act.
Events in Greece have been monitored by the game’s European governing body since March 2015, after the HFRL lodged its annual membership audit.
In July 2015, local participants in Greek rugby league lodged a formal complaint against the HFRL.
In October, the Malta Rugby League joined them in doing so, after Greece forfieted their European Championship C fixture against their Mediterranean rivals.
This damaged the MRL financially and politically.
RLIF CEO David Collier and RLEF Central & Eastern Europe Director Jovan Vujosevic made an unannounced fact-finding mission to Greece in February 2016.
This helped the investigation to conclude that the HFRL Board had repeatedly misled the RLEF regarding its financial management.
“We have concluded the first phase of the process to rehabilitate Greek rugby league,” Kazandjian explained.
“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.”