25 Jul 2023

Following 18 months of impressive growth since becoming Observer Members, the Kenya Rugby League Federation are set to receive a boost to their status as European Rugby League has reviewed and approved their application for Affiliate Membership.

Affiliate Membership requires a national federation to stage a domestic championship with at least four participating teams, have begun junior development, put certified coaches and match officials in place, and to have played at least one senior international match for world ranking points. Off the field, the federation is expected to demonstrate financial sustainability and have a strategy to continue growth, as well as demonstrating adherence to good governance through the annual membership audit. 

“This is great progress for the Kenya Rugby League Federation and demonstrates the immense dedication and investment by everyone involved in developing the sport in the country,” said Richard Nyakwaka, KRLF chair. “Achieving Affiliate membership will create more opportunities for the players, management, officials and fans. We are now ready to welcome international teams to visit Kenya for matches and tournaments.”

In their short time as a national federation, Kenya has impressed with the size and scale of their domestic competition structure, together with hosting of a technical education event in 2022 which saw delegates attend the week-long activity from across the Middle East & Africa region. They have also established a link with Leeds Rhinos through their Foundation, which sees the Super League club undertake a weekly on-line course with a group of coaches who are to set up academies in the regions.

“We have been working closely with KRLF to ensure that their strategy and efforts are channelled towards achieving Affiliate Membership status,” noted MEA regional director, Remond Safi. “There is a lot of ambition in the nation and I am pleased that the KRLF have been able to move to this milestone so quickly.”

Kenya’s proposed elevation would see them join Cameroon, Ghana, Morrocco and Nigeria in the region as Affiliate Members, whilst Lebanon and South Africa hold Full Member status.

The final stage of the application is for the International RL board and their full members to approve at their meeting in Singapore next week.