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Ghana officially recognises rugby league

RECOGNISED: Players take part in a rugby league game in Ghana (RLEF)

RUGBY LEAGUE enthusiasts in Ghana are celebrating the progress the sport has made in the country after the national sports body gave official recognition to the game.

It has taken two and a half years for the sport to gain an official foothold in the establishment after rugby league made its first steps to gain greater prominence in the West African state.

Ghana’s National Sports Authority (NSA) confirmed the sport was to be allowed greater access to funding, sponsorship, facilities and the creation of a system where schools can play against each other, as opposed to the prior arrangement of only internal matches.

In a decision that was announced in a letter by NSA’s director general Joe Kpenge, he revealed rugby league will now receive government backing.

Sylvester Wellington, Ghana’s national development manager of the game welcomed the announcement and said: “The British Pioneers tour was very successful, we obtained observer status [of the Rugby League European Federation (RLEF)], and now after one year of trying to get accreditation, we have it.

“We want to say a big thank you to all those who have helped us. I now know our hard work has paid off but we will use this achievement to move to greater heights now have legal documents backing us.”

RLEF Middle East Africa director Remond Safi added: “The GRL [Ghana Rugby League] gaining government recognition will prompt them to become pioneers and lead other West African nations to follow in their footsteps.

“It's a great day for international rugby league whenever a new government recognises the sport.”

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