RLIF backs Italian governing body

The RLIF have lent it support to one of the two rugby league federations in Italy, and disregarded the other.

There are two separate bodies trying to organise the game in the country – the recognised Federazione Italiana Rugby League (FIRL) and the unrecognised Italia Rugby Football League (iRFL).

The latter was the result of a breakaway in 2010, and the two have since been battling for progress since.

However, in a statement, RLIF chairman Scott Carter confirmed their support for the FIRL, who will run the Italy team at the World Cup.

He said: “The RLIF is working closely through the RLEF to develop a bright future for rugby league in Italy. The World Cup will be a crowning event after 18-months of considerable organisational re-structuring and improvement both on and off the field, led by Federazione Italiana Rugby League President Orazio D’arro, General Secretary Alfonso Peloso and their fellow directors.

“No other Italian organisation is recognised, verified or approved and any public declarations to the contrary should be disregarded. The RLIF cannot verify the safety of participants or legitimacy of any version of rugby league being played outside the jurisdiction of FIRL and urge participants and clubs with a genuine interest in the development of rugby league to approach FIRL.

“The democratic process remains open to all Italian rugby league clubs wishing to contribute constructively to the development of the sport in Italy and we welcome their interest.

“We wish the Italian Rugby League World Cup team every success in the competition as they will join Australia and England in the opening ceremony double header where Italy will play Wales, in Cardiff on October 26, 2013.”

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