The All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group has called on the General Assembly of International Sports Federations (GAISF) to grant the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) observer status.
The RLIF’s application to GAISF, the umbrella organisation for all international sports federations, will be reviewed at a forthcoming GAISF Council meeting on 24 January, and a decision will be made on whether to grant the RLIF observer status.
There are 92 full members and 17 associate members of the umbrella company for all sports federations, formerly known as SportAccord, which was formed in 1967.
The Group has once again written to GAISF President, Patrick Baumann, supporting the RLIF’s application. The letter notes that the Group recognises the RLIF as the sole world governing body of the the sport, with the copyright to the rules of rugby league; the trademark on the men’s and women’s Rugby League World Cups; and 71 national federations as members.
In the letter, the Group also calls on GAISF to grant the RLIF observer status without further delay at the forthcoming GAISF Council meeting.
Group Chair and Member of Parliament for Bradford South, Judith Cummins MP, said “it is disappointing that the Rugby League International Federation’s application to the General Assembly of International Sports Federations has been continually delayed, but the Group is hopeful that President Baumann and the General Assembly of International Sports Federations Council will now do the right thing, and approve the Rugby League International Federation’s application at the forthcoming meeting.
“The Rugby League International Federation dates back to 1927, and it is vital that it receives recognition, to ensure that rugby league can flourish across the globe.”
Group Secretary and Member of Parliament for St Helens South and Whiston, Marie Rimmer MP, added “the success of the recent Rugby League World Cups presents a significant opportunity for rugby league, but for the sport to further develop in countries around the world it is vital that the Rugby League International Federation is admitted to the General Assembly of International Sports Federations.
“I hope that the General Assembly of International Sports Federations Council will finally grant the Rugby League International Federation observer status, and ensure that the sport is given the recognition it deserves.”
Rugby union, through World Rugby, is a full member – as are the governing bodies of sports such as Bridge, Floorball, Minigolf and tug of war.