Rugby League European Federation’s Middle East & Africa regional director, Remond Safi, has returned from a successful week-long visit to Cameroon to further establish the sport. Whilst there, he met director of standards at the Ministry of Sport, Phillipe Obama, and budget official Celestin Messi Ekassi to ensure backing for and official recognition of the sport, whilst General Benoit Emane Asso’o – first cousin of the president of the country – will take up an honorary position on the CRLXIII board.
Safi advised the board on operational strategy and structure and carried out a number of media interviews promoting the sport, also carrying out level 1 coaching and match official courses - which identified potential educators - at the Institut Petou in the capital Yaoundé, a partner school in the sport’s youth programme.
“I’m very pleased with the current structure CRLXIII have implemented and the support that the sports ministry will provide,” said Safi. “Cameroon is one of four African nations that will aim to raise their status with the RLEF and intend to compete in the next World Cup qualifiers cycle for the 2025 tournament. It’s an interesting phase in the continent, with MEA nations working closely and co-operating with one another.”
CRLXIII president Samuel Tayou added: “We look forward to taking the game to the next level. We appreciate and are very thankful to the RLEF/RLIF for their support in liaising with the sports ministry and look forward to competing on the international stage and showcasing Cameroon rugby league to the world.”