Chances of Rugby League World Cup taking place ’50-50′, admits tournament chief executive

The head of this year’s Rugby League World Cup admitted on Thursday that the possibilities of the tournament taking place had been “50-50” following Australia and New Zealand’s controversial withdrawal.

Jon Dutton revealed a choice on whether or not to go forward with the occasion, postpone it till 2022, or cancel it altogether could be taken inside the subsequent week after describing the non-participation of two of its largest groups as “irreversible”.

Australia and New Zealand pulled out of the tournament final week citing participant welfare considerations referring to coronavirus, a choice branded “selfish, parochial and cowardly” by Simon Johnson, the chairman of the Rugby Football League, amid suspicions that they had caved in to stress from the previous nation’s National Rugby League golf equipment.

Dutton, the chief executive of RLWC2021, mentioned organisers nonetheless wished the tournament to go forward and would conduct an nameless participant survey this weekend to gauge the curiosity of different nations in doing so.

“It’s probably 50-50 right now, but we can’t and don’t know until we listen to the players.” he mentioned.

“We’ve labored carefully with the Rugby League Players’ Association, and I can’t communicate extremely sufficient of Clint Newton [its chief executive] and his workforce. What’s clear is participant selection and participant voice wasn’t thought of and we don’t wish to take the identical strategy.

“A lot of the concerns are wellbeing rather than safety, being in a bubble environment, away from their families. Without the players, we don’t have a tournament. But time is not on our side. Within the next 96 hours, we need to get in front of as many players as possible to understand their fears. We are talking about making a decision in a handful of days. At some point next week, we will have a clear outcome.”

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