By Chinedu Nwosu
Rugby Africa has announced that following a World Rugby Council meeting on November 18, 2020, another two African Rugby Unions join World Rugby. Burkina Faso Rugby Union has become a full member and Cameroon Rugby Union has been re-instated as a full member.
Rugby Africa President Khaled Babbou commented on the exciting development, “Congratulations to Cameroon Rugby Union which regains its rightful place as a World Rugby full member Union today. I would like to recognise the remarkable work of the Union’s President, Mr Marc Essono over the last couple of years to get the Union back on track. There is a great athletic potential in the country and a true passion for rugby, and we cannot wait to see the Cameroonian rugbymen and rugbywomen in action.
The African rugby family is growing, and I am delighted to also welcome a new World Rugby full member, Burkina Faso to our confederation. All credit goes to the Union’s President Mrs Rolande Boro who has been working tirelessly with her team over the last four years to reach this well-deserved recognition, added Babbou.
This is also an inspiring example of women’s leadership in rugby and I take this opportunity to encourage Unions to involve more women in administration and governance structure. We have high expectations for both Cameroon and Burkina Faso and Rugby Africa will support them as best we can on and off the field. This is definitely a big day for African rugby!”
As at May 2020, World Rugby has 102 member unions and 18 associate member unions. With the addition of Burkino Faso and Cameroon, it has moved up to 104-member unions.
“We really worked relentlessly to get fully affiliated to World Rugby. It was a long process and we kept focused on the results, so I am very proud of what we have accomplished today. It is not enough to wish and hope for something to happen, we must fight and persevere and work for it. That’s what we did and I’m grateful to all that made it possible.
It’s an honour to be a World Rugby member union, it comes with great expectations and responsibilities and we are eager to embark on this new exciting rugby journey here in Burkina Faso,” Ms Rolande Boro – President of Burkina Faso Rugby Union.
Rugby is a growing sport in Cameroon and the Union is currently ranked 77th by the IRB.
An excited Marc Essono’s quote – President of Cameroon Rugby Union said on the recent developments, “I am a very happy president and a proud rugbyman. Our re-integration into the big World Rugby family is the satisfaction of a job well done from the ground up. Thanks to this re-integration the future of Cameroonian rugby looks brighter.
We are ready for a great challenge and I wish to sincerely thank the Cameroonian sports authorities, the National Olympic Committee as well as Rugby Africa and World Rugby for their support. I particularly value and appreciate Rugby Africa’s President, Khaled Babbou’s vision and the trust he placed in us. Long live rugby!”