The Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports in accordance with the General Secretariat of Sports have officially announced that that rugby league can be played in Greece.
The news comes as Greece joins men’s Rugby League World Cup in the UK playing against France, Samoa and England in October.
Australia’s Ambassador to Greece, Arthur Spyrou congratulated the GRLF, on Twitter saying: “Outstanding Result! Welcome to the International Rugby League Family!”
Greek Rugby League Federation (GRLF) has fought for a decade to have rugby recognised as a unique and separate sport in Greece, in order to access government funding, facilities, create youth teams, school programs and sponsorships.
“Historic moment as our sport is finally recognised by the government! Our deepest of gratitude to ambassadors 🇦🇺 Arthur Spyrou and 🇬🇧 Matthew Lodge for their unwavering support. Also thank you to Deputy Minister Mr Lefteris Avgenakis and his team for their help along the way.
“This will no doubt leave a great legacy for future generations that will now be free to play the game that they love, without any interference,” GRLF president, George Stilianos, said.
“We are also excited about legally hosting our first international match in a long time, which will be on September 25 as part of the inaugural Women’s European B championship, when we take on Serbia women in Athens.”
“It has been a turbulent journey for rugby league in Greece but achieving government recognition as a federation ahead of their participation in the RLWC21 signals a new dawn and provides them with a huge opportunity to progress the sport at all levels,”Chair of the European Rugby League, Dean Andrew commented following the announcement.