12 Apr 2016

Burundi has become the sixth African nation to join the international rugby league community after it was accepted as an Observer of the RLEF.

Burundi Rugby League president Jean Du Christ Rusiga said: “We believe that rugby league can be a promoter of peace and development in Burundi and even within Africa itself. If we get together with our partners around the continent and work with them, there will be more and more opportunities for the sport."

South Africa was the first African nation to take up the sport followed by Morocco, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Ethiopia. RLEF Middle East Africa Director Remond Safi pointed out that, despite their modest beginnings, African nations will play an important role in the sport’s international strategy.

“Burundi’s inclusion strengthens the MEA region which will, in turn, aid our bid to become a sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee,” Safi commented. More African nations are working with Safi to join the MEA region. BRL’s status is on a provisional basis, the RLEF has asked it to adopt a different legal entity structure within a year.

Pictured (from left): Vice president Alexander Timbiri and Jean Du Christ Rusiga.