A court in Athens has dismissed an application by the Hellenic Federation of Modern Pentathlon to support its position as the governing body of rugby league in Greece, with the exclusive right to field a Greek national team. The decision supports the Greek Rugby League Association’s position as the nation’s legitimate governing body under the Rugby League International Federation.
“We welcome the court’s decision,” said Rugby League European Federation general manager Danny Kazandjian. “It is in keeping with the principle of autonomy which ensures that international federations regulate their sports, within a nation’s legal framework. The Greek national team can now express itself fully in the Balkans Championship in Belgrade this week as the recognised representative of the sport and the Greek state.”
The RLEF expelled the defunct Hellenic Federation of Rugby League last year for severe governance breaches and subsequently rejected an application by the HFMP’s ‘rugby league technical committee’ – led by the former president of the HFRL – Tasos Pantazidis, to join the RLEF.
Earlier this year, the RLEF admitted the GRLA as an Observer member but HFMP had continued to argue that it is the recognised governing body, despite Greek sport law requiring authorisation from the relevant international federation, which it did not have.
A request for preliminary measures to be heard in court on 15 December has been granted. The case continues.