Laos & Iran become World Rugby Full Members, Nepal an Associate Member
Asia Rugby members Laos Rugby Federation and Iran Rugby Federation are now World Rugby Full Members, while Nepal Rugby Association is an Associate Member of the global governing body. World Rugby this week confirmed that the number of World Rugby members has risen to 128 unions across all continents.
(Feature Photo Credit: Iran Rugby Federation)
World Rugby held a virtual interim Council meeting on Wednesday 18th November 2020 and “officially welcomed three unions as full members and two new unions as associate members of the international federation, bringing the global World Rugby membership to 128 unions” they announced online.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “World Rugby is delighted to welcome Burkina Faso, Iran and Laos as new full members and Nepal and Panama as associate members as we continue our commitment to the sustainable global growth of the sport combined with strong governance.”
New World Rugby Full Members
- Burkina Faso
New World Rugby Associate Members
Cameroon has also been reinstated as a member.
Asia Rugby increases its World Rugby Full Members
Asia Rugby President Qais Abdulla Al Dhalai said on his personal social media, “I’m honoured to announce World Rugby Council approved the admission of Iran Rugby & Lao Rugby Federation as Full Members. Also Nepal Rugby as an Associate Member. Congratulations to Asia Rugby!
It’s my first anniversary of being elected as the President of the biggest region in the world, ASIA! No better gift to me than seeing our family grow bigger and from strength to strength! I will keep the Asia Rugby motto of Equality, Transparency and Accountability all the way until my last day! Big day for Asia Rugby – We can do better but TOGETHER”.
In May 2020, World Rugby approved Jordan and Qatar as Associate Members from the Asian region.
In July 2020, the Cambodia Federation Rugby was readmitted to Asia Rugby as an Associate Member, while Iraq Rugby Committee and Palestine Rugby Committee were granted Asia Rugby Associate memberships. In addition, the Afghanistan Rugby Federation was granted full membership with Asia Rugby.
Laos Rugby Federation joins World Rugby as Full Member
Laos Rugby Federation (LRF) is the governing body for the sport of rugby in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. They announced via their social media channels:
“This historic day marks Lao Rugby Federation’s full membership of the International governing body, World Rugby! The LRF sincerely thanks all of our sponsors, Coaches, players and all LRF family members whose tireless work, dedication and passion for the sport has made this incredible achievement possible! With this new position in the World Rugby family, the future of Lao Rugby is brighter than ever.”
The Lao Rugby Federation has been an associate member of World Rugby since 2005 and is a full member of Asia Rugby. It was also the first country to host the ChildFund Pass It Back program which still operates in Laos, combining life skills and rugby development.
Lao Rugby Federation CEO and 2020 World Rugby Women’s Executive Leadership Scholarship member, Viengsamai Souksavanh added:
“Becoming a full member of World Rugby has been our dream and we are thrilled to be able to finally accomplish this during Lao Rugby’s 20 year anniversary.
Our thousands of coaches and players, over half of whom are female, across Laos will be joining us in celebrating this great accomplishment and in working even harder to use the boost of full membership to expand and develop rugby even further across the country.”
Iran Rugby Federation- World Rugby Full Members
Iran Rugby Federation president, Dr Hassan Mirzaaghabeik, said via the federation’s Facebook “I’m honoured to announce that just 2 minutes ago, World Rugby Council approved unanimously the admission of Iran Rugby Association and Lao Rugby Federation as World Rugby Full Members. And also unanimously admitted Nepal Rugby as World Rugby Associate Member.”
He added via World Rugby: “Iran Rugby has gone through difficult conditions to reach today. So at this point, I would like to thank the people who have helped Iran move forward in the development of rugby in Asia, including Sir Bill Beaumont, World Rugby Women’s Rugby General Manager Katie Sadleir, Qaith Abdullah Al Dhalai and all the World Rugby representatives in Asia.
Iranian women are more active in rugby today than men and this is due to the efforts of Nahid Biyarjomandi.”
Iran Rugby Federation Head of Women’s Rugby Development Nahid Biyarjomandi, founded the first women’s rugby club in Iran, and is a World Rugby ‘Unstoppable’ – her involvement in World Rugby’s global ‘Try And Stop Us’ campaign has had a positive impact in her homeland.
Iran has been an associate member of World Rugby since 2013 and is a full member of Asia Rugby.
Nepal Rugby Association – World Rugby Associate Member
Nepal Rugby Association’s addition as an Associate Member to World Rugby follows the successful hosting of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour in December 2018. It was the first time the Webb Ellis Cup visited Nepal and more than 2,500 people took part in a Get Into Rugby festival in Kathmandu.
Tanka Lal Ghising, Nepal Rugby Association President said: “I would like to express my sincere thanks to World Rugby from Nepal, a nation containing Mount Everest for this immense recognition in World Rugby as an associate member. It has been a great achievement to develop rugby in Nepal under my leadership since 2012.
We are delighted by the recognition of our continuous devotion to the sport. The dimensions of Nepal Rugby have increased with this decision and Nepal is eager to bear the new responsibility.”
Nepal Rugby Association has been a full member of Asia Rugby since 2018.
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