The Rugby League Federation Ghana (RLFG) at the recent International Rugby League (IRL) Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on Wednesday 25th November 2020 saw it’s IRL observer status upgraded to affiliate membership.
The RLFG was initially recommended for affiliate status by the Rugby League European Federation (RLEF) board back in October with RLEF Board Member, Mahdi Choudhury, pointing to the federation’s rapid growth since being revitalized back in 2018.
“We are extremely pleased to recommend Ghana’s affiliate membership application, they have shown significant growth since 2018. Rugby League Federation Ghana (RLFG) has increased domestic and international competition, coaching and match official development programmes and vital community initiatives. Their acceptance would further strengthen the establishment of a proposed Middle East-Africa Confederation.”
Following the recommendation, the country underwent a rigorous process to satisfactorily demonstrate the growth of their organization and their capacity to deliver rugby league programmes.
To be accepted as an affiliate member of the IRL one would need; (1) Access to at least one pitch that can be adapted to meet the international laws with evidence it has been used for RL. (2) Evidence of a registration system. (3) Population > 500k: 4-team competition, minimum 1 round or Population < 500k: 3-team competition, minimum 2 rounds. (4) Evidence of junior development.
Following the confirmation of the federation’s affiliate status, General Secretary of the RLFG, Kareem Captan, said: “This marks a significant milestone in our journey towards participation in RLWC2025 [2025 Rugby League World Cup] and obtaining full membership.”
“It reflects the ardent dedication of our team and players and the gracious and enduring support we have been so fortunate to receive from our sponsors, partners, and stakeholders and we thank them all.” He further stated
IRL Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nigel Wood, also commented on the new affiliate members saying “It was great to have so many members attend and participate in the AGM in such trying circumstances. We would like to thank them all and also congratulate our friends in both Nigeria and Ghana on their successful applications to become affiliate members.”
Ghana becomes only the third African nation following South Africa and Nigeria (who were confirmed alongside Ghana) to be bestowed with the IRL affiliate status.