Australia and New Zealand have pulled out of the Rugby League World Cup due to “participant welfare and security considerations” associated to Covid-19.
The males’s, girls’s and wheelchair occasions are scheduled to happen in England this autumn.
The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) and New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) have requested organisers if it may be rescheduled for 2022.
NZRL chief Greg Peters stated it was “just too unsafe” to participate.
“The security and wellbeing of our individuals is the primary precedence, and sadly, that can’t be assured to our satisfaction.
“There are stark variations between how the pandemic is being managed within the UK in comparison with Australasia, and up to date developments have highlighted how shortly issues can change.
“The match organisers have moved heaven and earth to make this work, so it’s not a simple choice, however the Covid-19 state of affairs within the UK reveals no signal of enhancing, and it is just too unsafe to ship groups and workers over.”
ARLC chairman Peter V’landys added: “Not collaborating on this yr’s World Cup isn’t a call the fee has taken flippantly, however we should put the most effective pursuits of our gamers and officers first. Protecting them is our absolute precedence.
“In the present atmosphere, the dangers to the security, well being and wellbeing of the gamers and officers travelling from Australia to take part within the match this yr are insurmountable.
“We have once more requested the IRL and Rugby League World Cup contemplate suspending the occasion till 2022 to allow all gamers to take part.”
Organisers solely confirmed that the match would go forward earlier this month, though Australia, the holders and 11-time winners, didn’t signal the participation settlement.
One of the problems beforehand raised is Covid-19 laws and quarantine guidelines for gamers and workers travelling again to Australia and New Zealand.
Australia’s borders are at the moment closed, so anybody returning has to spend 14 days in government-managed quarantine.
There are studies that Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL) groups need the match postponed to next year as a result of these laws imply gamers would solely return to their golf equipment two weeks earlier than trial video games for the 2022 NRL season start.
Rugby league officers estimate round 400-500 gamers, workers and group officers from NRL sides, representing a number of totally different international locations, could be concerned within the World Cup.
An announcement from the match organisers learn: “RLWC2021 observe the disappointing assertion made by the ARLC and NZRL which can have huge ranging implications for worldwide Rugby League.
“RLWC2021 have been knowledgeable at very quick discover and can proceed discussions with all stakeholders to agree on one of the best ways ahead. An additional assertion can be made in the end.”
More to observe.