January 16, 2021
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RLWC organisers remain positive for 2021

Rugby League's World Cup 2021 organisers are optimistic that the tournament will be staged at the end of this year as planned despite Covid-19 issues.

However, they have given themselves a cut-off point of May before a final decision is taken on what form the tournament will take - with full stadiums or reduced, socially distanced crowds - or whether it will have to be postponed until 2022.

BBC sports news confirmed that this is the biggest and most connected tournament ever planned, with the men's, women's and wheelchair tournaments all running simultaneously - and a double-header final at Old Trafford also introduced for this event.

The tournament faces two critical deadlines before any decision is made and organisers will make an initial assessment in March, but a final decision will be made in May.

If the World Cup had to be played in front of half-empty stadiums, organisers might turn to the government to help cover the lost income.

Central government has already provided $15 million Euros towards the costs of staging the tournament, with up to $10 million Euros more to fund legacy projects in the community.

In a worst-case scenario for RLWC 2021, postponing the tournament for 12 months would be a very last resort for the organisers.

Moving the World Cup to 2022 would mean ripping up most of the plans and starting again and that would create a huge challenge.

By Romeka Romena  


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