RLIF issue update on UAE situation

The RLIF have issued a statement which outlines the latest developments in the ongoing situation in the United Arab Emirates.

The head of rugby league in the UAE, Sol Mokdad, was still in custody this week, after being arrested recently on technicalities of law.

UAE newspaper The National reported on Monday that the country’s rugby league competition would go ahead, under the auspices of the rugby union body UAE Rugby Federation (UAERF).

“I am very happy to be appointment as chairman of the UAE Rugby League Committee and I look forward to working closely with the clubs to steer league into a positive future in the UAE,” said Saood Belshalat, a UAERF board member.

This short-term resolution would not seem to be to the satisfaction of the RLIF, on whose website the following statement appeared on Tuesday:

“The Chief Executive of the Rugby League International Federation has met with GAYSW (General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare) to discuss the optimal means for recognition of Rugby League in the UAE.

“Background information not previously in the hands of GAYSW was provided to GAYSW in respect of the sovereignty of World Rugby for the sport of Rugby Union and The Rugby League International Federation for the sport of Rugby League.

“Further consideration and discussion will now take place prior to a determination on the optimal structure for the representation of Rugby League in the UAE.”

The CEO of the RLIF, Dr David Collier OBE, insisted that the sport’s governing body was working as hard as possible to ensure that rugby league in the UAE came under control of the proper authorities.

“The RLIF is most grateful for the wise counsel and review of this information by GAYSW,” he said.

“We recognise that any solution will include the recognition of RLIF as the sovereign International Federation for the governance of Rugby League and RLIF has committed to working with GAYSW to identify this solution.”

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