A new seven-person board has been elected by the eight member clubs in the DR of Congo to take the sport forward. Rugby league is currently played in three areas, the capital Kinshasa, Goma and, most recently, Uvira in the South Kivu region, and under new chair and former professional player Joe Mbu the plan over the next three years is to fulfil all the criteria for full membership of the International Rugby League.
“I am delighted for the opportunity to be part of the family of developing rugby league around the world,” said Mbu. “I am excited and looking forward to the pool of talent that will emerge from the central region of Africa. The DRC RL has the potential to become a great rugby league nation. I also want to thank the vice-president Mr Kajibwami for the work he has done and continues to do in developing the sport here.
“Our initial objectives are to reform the constitution, register rugby league formally with the minister of sport, revamp our communications strategy and complete the domestic championships in Kinshasa and South Kivu,” Mbu added. “Our hope next year is to play international fixtures home and away and take part in MEA events.”
The new board is also comprised of general secretary Christian Lokwa, treasurer Batumike Bishoga, members Varick Tshibidi and Mparampara Lumumba Fustin, and MEA regional director Remond Safi as an independent member for a 12-month period only.