Rugby League World Cup: Organisers admit 'significant challenges threaten' event

Last update on.From section Rugby LeagueIn August 2017, Jon Dutton was named chief executive officer of the Rugby League World Cup.Organisers admit that there are "significant challenges" to the Rugby League World Cup's staging as planned later in the year.Australia and New Zealand pulled out of the tournament to be held in England. They cited safety and player welfare concerns related to Covid-19.Jon Dutton, the chief executive officer of the event, stated that "further urgent conversations" are required.He said that they would be focusing on correcting misinformation.Dutton stated that the emergency meeting of the event board was held on Wednesday. It will examine whether there is enough interest to proceed as planned with the event which is set to begin in October.Christian Welch is a Queensland and Melbourne Storm prop forward and is also a director for the Rugby League Players Association. He claims players weren't consulted before Australia won the title 11 times. New Zealand took the trophy once in 2008.Dutton stated in a statement that "The board have instructed me and the RLWC2021 staff to continue to hold urgent discussions with all parties, especially the players, aimed to correct misinformation as well measuring sentiment on the course of the tournament.""While the board reaffirmed its determination to deliver the largest and most successful Rugby League World Cup ever, they are also realistic about some of the major challenges that may be in the way of that goal."Dutton stated that the board also "recognizes the need to bring clarity to the situation", and added that it has been in frequent contact with the UK government, stating its support has been "invaluable".Players are currently in discussions about taking "extraordinary measures" to safeguard their well-being. Meanwhile, competing nations are being briefed to "fully understand any new and developing issues that could prevent them from travelling to England in October".Organisers confirmed that they are currently in discussions with International Rugby League about the possibility of replacing New Zealand and Australia's teams.