Australia and New Zealand have pulled out of the Rugby League World Cup due to “participant welfare and security issues” associated to Covid-19.
The lads’s, ladies’s and wheelchair occasions are scheduled to happen in England this autumn.
The Australian Rugby League Fee (ARLC) and New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) have requested organisers if it may be rescheduled for 2022.
NZRL chief Greg Peters stated it was “just too unsafe” to participate.
“The security and wellbeing of our folks is the principle precedence, and sadly, that can’t be assured to our satisfaction.
“There are stark variations between how the pandemic is being managed within the UK in comparison with Australasia, and up to date developments have highlighted how shortly issues can change.
“The match organisers have moved heaven and earth to make this work, so it isn’t a simple determination, however the Covid-19 state of affairs within the UK reveals no signal of bettering, and it is just too unsafe to ship groups and workers over.”
ARLC chairman Peter V’landys added: “Not taking part on this 12 months’s World Cup shouldn’t be a call the fee has taken flippantly, however we should put the perfect pursuits of our gamers and officers first. Defending them is our absolute precedence.
“Within the present surroundings, the dangers to the protection, well being and wellbeing of the gamers and officers travelling from Australia to take part within the match this 12 months are insurmountable.
“We have now once more requested the IRL and Rugby League World Cup take into account suspending the occasion till 2022 to allow all gamers to take part.”
Organisers solely confirmed that the match would go forward earlier this month, though Australia, the holders and 11-time winners, didn’t signal the participation settlement.
One of many points beforehand raised is Covid-19 rules and quarantine guidelines for gamers and workers travelling again to Australia and New Zealand.
Australia’s borders are presently closed, so anybody returning has to spend 14 days in government-managed quarantine.
There are experiences that Australia’s Nationwide Rugby League (NRL) groups need the match postponed to next year as a result of these rules imply gamers would solely return to their golf equipment two weeks earlier than trial video games for the 2022 NRL season start.
Rugby league officers estimate round 400-500 gamers, workers and crew officers from NRL sides, representing a number of completely different nations, could be concerned within the World Cup.
A press release from the match organisers learn: “RLWC2021 word the disappointing assertion made by the ARLC and NZRL which can have large ranging implications for worldwide Rugby League.
“RLWC2021 have been knowledgeable at very brief discover and can proceed discussions with all stakeholders to agree on the easiest way ahead. An additional assertion will probably be made sooner or later.”
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