14 Oct 2020

At its recent board meeting, International Rugby League (IRL) reviewed an application for Affiliate Membership received from the Nigerian Rugby League Association. The application, which has the support of the Rugby League European Federation (RLEF) was approved and will now be presented to the full IRL membership with a recommendation to elevate NRLA.

Remond Safi, the RLEF Regional Manager for the Middle East Africa region, commented;

“We are now seeing the progressive results from the growth in the MEA region. Nigeria will be the first country in Africa to meet and become an Affiliate Member under the new criteria.

“This certainly will aid the region meet its objectives on the road map to a MEA Confederation.”

Abbey Olawale-Cole, the Nigerian Rugby League Association chairman, said of their elevation;

“Without a lot of hard work and personal sacrifices from the board of directors and trustees, and commitment from the players, referees and other stakeholders, the NRLA wouldn’t be in this position, so thanks to all who made this dream a reality. 

“We are committed to the sustainable development of rugby league in Nigeria, growing our youth and women talent pool, ensuring that the grassroots gets the right level of engagement and support, so as to ensure we are on a constant path to growth.”

The application will be presented to the full IRL membership at its annual congress in November. If approved, Nigeria will be eligible to enter the Rugby League World Cup qualifiers.