F or anyone with even a brief knowledge of it recent history of rugby league, the only surprise regarding the announcement that Australia and New Zealand have withdrawn from the World Cup this fall is that none of this equals a surprise anymore.
Rugby league is a sport which makes constitutional crisis its modus operandi, and the long-held belief in the Rugby Football League that their Southern Hemisphere counterparts totally despise international play became a cheeky reality when confirmation came that kangaroos and kiwis would not be making their way to these coasts.>
The British Rugby League has suffered badly from a lack of leadership on the room-level board for an extended period. RFL president Simon Johnson's attack on his Australian and New Zealand counterparts on Thursday was at least a refreshing addition to a book very few rugby union fans would want to read.
Johnson's blitzkrieg of the Australian Rugby Commission (ARLC) and New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL), calling them "selfish, parochial and cowardly " after citing security concerns related to Covid-19 as the main reason for withdrawing from the World Cup, expressed a view with which many rugby league supporters have for some time agreed time. But, for once, the myopia of those who hold power in the international game could have far-reaching consequences across the world.
Take the lead future of sport in United States Kingdom. With significant government backing of £ 15million to help organize the event, numerous loans for clubs and RFL and losses running into the millions due to the micro pande it is no exaggeration to suggest that the national game is on the brink financially. Peu Sports in this country have been hit as hard as the league by Covid-19, largely because of its reliance on the income and support of its fans and communities.
Without the two nations which together have won the last nine Men's World Cups, it's hard to imagine how the event is going this year. This means huge deficits in sponsorship, broadcast revenue and, most importantly, ticket sales. The reorganization is almost impossible given the clash with next year's FIFA World Cup in Qatar. You can also say goodbye to the BBC's promise to broadcast every game, as it intends to do this fall. At a time when the rugby league has borrowed more money than it would have liked to stay afloat, losing the World Cup and the wealth and visibility that come with it is simply disastrous.
The World Cup is also a key part of the government's ramp-up strategy in the north of England, where most matches will take place. Tournaments like these - in particular those supported so comprehensively by Westminster - have the potential to leave a lasting legacy in communities and cities; without it, there is a huge hole that the rugby league simply cannot and will not fill. The idea of returning the government's financial support could be catastrophic, if not fatal.
But once again, this short-sighted and short-sighted decision is beyond the leadership of the world. Australia and New Zealand This World Cup was to be a celebration of persity and equality in the rugby league, with women's and wheelchair tournaments alongside the men's competition. same week Australia got the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games , what a message Is she sending the world that their country rugby league authorities have no respect for their elite athletes? If nothing else, you think the Australian government will have urgent questions for the 'ARLC.
With Australia and New Zealand sending teams to Tokyo for this year's Olympics, plus the arrival of the Wallabies in England At the same time as the Rugby Union World Cup is taking place, the idea that this decision rests on the safety of the players is to say the least timid. It is simply because the clubs of the NRL, which are the main players in this sporting tragedy, fear their elite stars will miss the start of the preseason next year if they have to self-quarantine.
Those responsible forRugby League Australia would rather watch Penrith vs. Parramatta a thousand times rather than give top male, female and wheelchair athletes the chance to represent their country on the bigger stage. This is narrow-minded but hardly surprising given the Australian Rugby League's lack of contempt for anything that does not include the letters N, R and L.
But perhaps there is a saving grace here. The Guardian is aware of the growing disbelief of major Australian players, who indeed had this decision made for them. They were prepared to travel and undergo the quarantine requirements necessary to try and keep the trophy they won four years ago and it is the power that the NRL clubs have over the ARLC that made the decision to get it out of their hands.
Kangaroo stars including Damien Cook and Jack Wighton havealready underlined that they wanted to participate in the World Cup. New Zealand head coach Michael Maguire has also insisted the Kiwis want to travel. If they can create a cascade of support in the public domain, there is some hope that the ARLC and NZRL will give in and the World Cup will go as planned.
The alternative for a game hovering over financial disasters ter just can't stand to think about it.