Organisers of the Rugby League World Cup 2021(RLWC2021) say they will hold discussions with the UK government and other stakeholders in the coming days as they look to plan a way forward for the event after the withdrawal of Australia and New Zealand from the tournament.
They have also confirmed that an emergency Board meeting has taken place, with ‘constructive discussions’ took place on the ‘best way forward for the tournament’.
Set to take place across England in October and November this year, the tournament is still scheduled to host men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions simultaneously for the first time.
Last week, the Rugby League commissions of both Australia and New Zealand released a joint-statement withdrawing from the competition over coronavirus safety fears. They pointed to how the pandemic was ‘being managed in the UK compared with Australasia’ as part of the decision to pull out.
Chris Brindsley, Chairman, RLWC2021, said: “The Rugby League World Cup 2021 have held an emergency Board meeting following the hugely disappointing statement made by ARLC and NZRL. The Board conducted constructive discussions on the best way forward for the tournament and will continue dialogue with all stakeholders, including the UK Government, in the coming days.
“The well-being of all those involved in the tournament, particularly players and team officials, have been the priority for the organisers. The Board reiterated the relentless hard work and extraordinary measures that have been taken to create a world class environment in line with other major sports event that have been successfully hosted in UK this year.
“The Board will meet again in the coming days but in the meantime will continue to concentrate its efforts on being solutions focused and achieving the best possible outcome for the tournament.”