Palestine gain Rugby League European Federation Observer status

Palestine Rugby League has gained official accreditation from the Rugby League European Federation (RLEF).

The organisation has been accorded official Observer Status, which is an important step on the path towards full international recognition.

It will hopefully lay important foundations for the establishment of a viable domestic league alongside a credible international side.

Rabie and Ahmad El Masri, two Palestinian refugees based in Lebanon. began the process of establishing Palestinian rugby league some five years ago.

The brothers became qualified coaches, and have also established Palestine XIII open age and youth sides. These are largely comprised of Palestinian refugees based in Lebanon, and play in the MENA Cup.

Youth workers in the West Bank are now expected to begin training as qualified coaches in the next few weeks, most probably in Lebanon.

The coming months should also see a Palestine international side play some fixtures.

“I thank everyone for making this become possible,” said PRL President Rabie El-Masri.

“It’s been a tough road to get to where we are now and we’re looking forward to the next step along this journey.”

RLEF MEA Director Remond Safi added: “It is a huge boost to the region to formally welcome Palestine.

“Their determination, even under the most extreme circumstances outside of sport, are a lesson for all about not giving in when you have a dream.”

 

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