International Rugby League bans Russia from competition

Steven Hughes
European Rugby League ball

The International Rugby League Federation have announced Russia have been barred from all competition until further notice.

The move comes as a result of the current events in the Ukraine. The country was invaded by Russia last week.

Both the International Federation, and the European Rugby League bodies are united in this move. They say they condemn the “unprovoked attacks” in Ukraine.

A joint statement from the two bodies said:“IRL and ERL unequivocally condemn the Russian government’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine.

“In line with the recommendation issued by the International Olympic Committee, Russia is henceforth barred from participating in any international rugby league competition until further notice.

“While the brunt of the Russian state’s indefensible actions are being borne by innocent Ukrainian civilians. Both organisations also recognise the difficult position for the many Russian citizens who do not support the war.”

European Rugby League offer “unreserved support” to Ukraine

The European Rugby League board say they are offering their “unreserved support” to Ukraine Rugby League after the invasion of Russia.

The ERL board are in constant dialogue with the Ukrainian Federation of Rugby League through their president Artur Martyrosian Jr.

A statement from the ERL read: “We stand full square behind the courageous people of Ukraine and their resistance to this unprovoked attack.

They are fighting for a set of values and principles that are part of our core beliefs in rugby league. Respect, brother/sisterhood and common cause. 

“Many members of the Ukraine Federation of Rugby League are fighting for their country. We admire their bravery and respect their stand. The sooner they are able to return to the rugby league field the better our world will be.

“Our friends in Ukraine are constantly in our thoughts at this time.” 

Read More: European Rugby League offer their “unreserved support” to Ukraine