The RLEF board has confirmed that the Greek Rugby League Association has been awarded affiliate status.
The officially-sanctioned governing body took over the running of the sport in Greece two years ago and has made significant progress which will see them involved in the 2021 World Cup qualifiers, have three clubs – Rhodes Knights, Aris Eagles and Attica Rhinos – involved in the 2018 Balkan Super League, with the Knights and Rhinos also set to play in the domestic Grand Final.
RLEF Central & Eastern Europe regional director, Jovan Vujosevic, commented: “The GRLA has made significant progress after rebuliding the national governing body and revamping its competition structure, with the support of the Greek Australian community. They realized the importance of organic domestic growth of the sport, and they are now back on track to be one of the strongest countries in South East Europe. This is a real boost for the Balkan region.“
GRLA Interim president George Stilianos noted: “This formal acknowledgement is the result of much perseverance by a lot of people in Greece. We now intend to build towards full membership. It will be an exciting period ahead for Greek rugby league, we have set ourselves the ambitious goal of qualifying for World Cup in 2021 but our top priority is local development. We have new teams joining us soon and we would eventually like to create a second division, such is the demand.”