While the eyes of the whole world are watching Cape Town for the Rugby World Cup 7s, Rugby Africa and Asia Rugby have come together to sign an agreement. The agreement will extend the cooperation between two of World Rugby’s largest regional governing bodies.
The signing ceremony was attended by World Rugby President Bill Beaumont, as well as World Rugby officials, Rugby Africa officials and Asia Rugby committee members.
The event took place at the Southern Sun The Cullinan Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa.
The first ever collaborative meeting between Rugby Africa and Asia Rugby was held in April. It took place virtually and was led by the two regional association presidents, Khaled Babbou and Qais Al Dhalai.
Initial topics of discussion included a referee exchange programme and a possible Afro-Asian women’s XV competition. These discussions led to an unprecedented event: an Asian woman referee, Eri Kamimura from Japan, refereed a women’s XV match between South Africa and Namibia.
Rugby Africa President Khaled Babbou commented: “Today we are happy with the signing of the agreement between Rugby Africa and Asia Rugby. It is important that we start collaborating across regions. I would like to thank President Qais and Asia Rugby, with all your expertise, for making this possible.”
“This is a groundbreaking moment for Asia Rugby and Rugby Africa,” said Qais Al Dhalai, President of Asia Rugby, on the occasion. “We have been working on this project for six months and we have already seen this collaboration in action with an exchange of match officials. The continental federations are moving forward together to create more opportunities and a better future for match officials and players.”