Greece pull out of World Cup qualifier in Malta

The Malta Rugby League (MRL) regret to announce the cancellation of the Rugby League World Cup Qualifier scheduled to be played at Melita FC, Pembroke this weekend.

The European Championship C clash was scheduled since last winter to go ahead this Saturday 10th October however the governing body for Greek Rugby League has given notice to the European governing body, the Rugby League European Federation (RLEF), that it will be unable to fulfil the championship fixture.

The RLEF has issued a statement that on 1 October the Hellenic Federation of Rugby League informed the RLEF its national team would not be able to fulfil the away leg of its European Championship C campaign in Malta on 10 October, citing the country’s economic difficulties and the withdrawal of two sponsors.

The RLEF Board has ordered an inquiry and awarded the match 30-0 to Malta.

Malta are now at the top of the European Championship C standings, but the cancellation of the fixture in Malta leaves Spain in the box seat to progress to the next round after they upset Malta 40-30 in Valencia last month. A draw or victory by any margin over Greece in Athens on October 17th would see Spain top the group and face the likes of Serbia, Italy and Russia next year ahead of the World Cup in 2017.

Malta have played four internationals this season, three of them abroad, including their spectacular 35-34 win over Belgium at Headingley Stadium in June. Last month, the Maltese almost upset Ireland until the 7th in the world Irish ran down the locals 34-22.

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