The Rugby League World Cup 2021, set to be staged in England later this year, has been postponed until 2022 after the withdrawal of Australia and New Zealand earlier this month.
The two countries pulled out of the tournament citing "player welfare and safety concerns" related to COVID 19 and the organising committee have now decided to postpone the tournament fully.
"It became unfeasible and irresponsible for us to carry on," said Jon Dutton, chief executive of the tournament.
"I think it will take some time for international rugby league to recover from this. I hope we can be a beacon of light.
"Certainly we've prioritised player voice and player choice, we know the players want to play, we took our responsibilities very seriously, and we are determined to stage the biggest and best ever rugby league World Cup.
"It's a real shame that it cannot be this year but leadership is about making tough decisions, it's about being responsible, and we've done this in the best interests of not just the tournament but of the sport of rugby league."