Rugby league is a sport that is growing and increasing worldwide and in the United Arab Emirates, they have worked hard to build the sport and its reputation.
Committed to the cause, they have taken one of their biggest strides yet, with four teams committing to the cause, to play in a new competition.
After their annual general meeting was held at Jumeirah Beach in Dubai, the new competition was launched – to be known as the Rugby League Cup.
Four applications for clubs were received and accepted with the teams to play: Al Ain Amblers, Abu Dhabi Harlequins, Xodus Wasps and the Dubai Sharks.
The AGM also signalled the start of a new era off the field, with George Yiasemedes named as the new Chief Operating Officer of the United Arab Emirates rugby league.
In charge of developing further strategies to improve the game in the region and enhance the UAERL commercially, it is a role that Yiasemedes looks forward to and is excited by.
â€œOur first priority is to establish a solid infrastructure and an executive committee that will strategically develop and grow the profile of rugby league within the UAE,â€ said Yiasemides.
â€œIn order to progress and move forward, we must gain government recognition as a sporting entity and become an Affiliate Member of the Rugby League European Federation. That is an absolute necessity which will inevitably attract funding and secure the future of the UAERL.â€
Remond Safi, the MEA Regional Director for the RLEF believes that with their new COO and structure, the UAERL can thrive, develop and go places.
â€œI am confident that with the newly installed COO, and the re-appointment of UAERL president Sol Mokdad, that the sport will move in the right direction to take the game to its next level,” said Safi.