World Rugby backs Rugby Africa on NRFF suspension

World Rugby backs Rugby Africa on NRFF suspension

The World Rugby has fully supported the interim position taken by Rugby Africa to suspend Nigeria Rugby Football Federation (NRFF) from all its activities.

The World Rugby tagged the dissolution of the board of the NRFF by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to be political interference.

World Rugby strongly urged the minister of sports to reinstate the NRFF Board which has been duly elected in accordance with the constitution.

WA threatened to freeze all World Cup funding to Nigeria, suspension of NRFF participation in any international Rugby competitions at any level for an indefinite period; the removal of NRFF’s right to representation at the World Rugby General Assembly to be held on November 25,2021 and consideration of NRFF’s membership of World Rugby moving forward.

According to a letter obtained by www.aclsports.com and signed by David Carrigy the Director of Development and International Relations of World Rugby, the Bye-law 6(h) of the World Rugby Bye–Laws allows World Rugby to suspend or expel a Member Union from World Rugby membership in circumstances where political interference in the affairs of their Member Unions is deemed to have occurred.

The letter addressed to Nigeria’s Minister of Sports read, “I am writing with regard to matters brought to World Rugby’s attention concerning the dissolution of the boards of 31 Sports Federations in Nigeria, including the Nigerian Rugby Football Federation (“NRFF”), to be replaced by Ministry selected caretaker committees.

“The World Rugby Council at its November 14, 2018 meeting, having reviewed the NRFF constitution dated March 3, 2018 and having noted submissions from the NRFF Board and Rugby Africa, confirmed the NRFF as a Full Member of World Rugby and the sole governing body of rugby in Nigeria managed by the constitutionally elected Board in accordance with its constitution”.

It further read, “World Rugby is concerned about the decision to dissolve the duly elected board of the NRFF. World Rugby considers such a decision by the government of Nigeria to be political interference in the affairs of the NRFF. Bye-law 6(h) of the World Rugby Bye–Laws allows World Rugby to suspend or expel a Member Union from World Rugby membership in circumstances where political interference in the affairs of our Member Unions is deemed to have occurred. Accordingly, World Rugby would strongly urge you to reinstate the NRFF Board which has been duly elected in accordance with the constitution”.

It said the dissolution of the NRFF by Nigeria Government will be raised at the May 11, 2021 World Rugby Executive Committee meeting.

“As an indication of the serious nature of this matter, I can confirm that the matter will be raised at the May 11, 2021 World Rugby Executive Committee meeting. In the event that your Government does not immediately reinstate the duly elected NRFF Board, the World Rugby Executive Committee are likely to consider a number of actions to include but not limited to the immediate freezing of all World Rugby funding to Rugby in Nigeria; a suspension of NRFF participation in any international Rugby competitions at any level for an indefinite period; the removal of NRFF’s right to representation at the World Rugby General Assembly to be held on November 25,2021 and consideration of NRFF’s membership of World Rugby moving forward”.

“We would respectfully request a response from your office on this matter before May 11, 2021 so that your Government’s position may also be heard by the World Rugby Executive Committee”.

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