Belgrade has been chosen as the venue for the 2017 RLEF Congress. The Serbian capital will host the annual gathering of European and northern hemisphere nations for the second time in three years, following a through a competitive tendering process, instigated in 2015.
Expected to attend are the RLEF’s 10 Full Members, eight Affiliates and 14 Observers as well as an active and as yet un-ranked group of new nations which includes Turkey, Greece, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Poland.
“I am delighted to confirm that the 2017 RLEF Congress will return to Belgrade, and I congratulate the Serbian Rugby League Federation for submitting a compelling bid,” said RLEF chairman Maurice Watkins. “When the members decided three years ago to award the congress through a competitive tender process they did so to give progressive and mature organisations such as the SRLF the opportunity to integrate further into the federation and to increase the European dimension of it.
“Serbia has always been one of the RLEF’s most prolific and active members and this year’s event will be just four months before the 2017 World Cup so will have an extra element of excitement,” Watkins continued.
SRLF general secretary Slobodan Manak added: “We are happy to be able to once again host the annual congress. We want to encourage RLEF members to be more proactive and are hoping to use this occasion to show others how they can do it.
“Belgrade is perfect place to meet, talk and share experience and ideas. It's a beautiful city and well connected to all of Europe. It will be very nice to see some new countries here and have the opportunity to welcome them into European rugby league family.
“SRLF will once again organise a 9s competition during the congress and we are hoping that other members will recognize the benefits of such a tournament and send teams to compete in it.”