Just when it looked like steady growth was taking place in the game of rugby league in Lebanon, the country has been dealt a blow – with an U16 MENA Championship cancelled, due to continued political turmoil.
With the situation deteriorating all the time, Interim LRLF Chief Operating Officer Faysal Jaber said that player safety was paramount, above everything else.
â€œLebanon is undeniably a great location for rugby league tournaments and up until this point the LRLF has always found a way to work through and around any abnormal circumstance the country might find itself in. As much as the Federation loves to promote the game, the wellbeing of the players is our upmost priority and with this in mind we must regrettably cancel this yearâ€™s MENA U16s Championship,” said Jaber.
â€œDue to the various circumstances that the country is going through right now, our coaches have not been able to reach the entire playing group for even one training session. And with no end in sight, it would be unreasonable for us to allow Saudi Schools Select to travel out here.â€
With the turmoil taking its toll on the country, given assassination attempts on Ministers and strikes by teachers – Jaber is hopeful that the situation can improve, allowing further MENA Championships to be played in the region.
â€œThe sport is seeing exceptional growth in the MENA region and the Championship has continued to grow in strength at various age groups throughout the past few years. We look forward to holding many more MENA tournaments in Lebanon in years to come,â€ added Jaber.