Rugby League World Cup: ฝรั่งเศสถอนตัวจากการเป็นเจ้าภาพการแข่งขันในปี 2568
France has pulled out of hosting the 2025 Rugby League World Cup with organisers citing financial reasons for the decision.
Organisers have been unable to meet financial criteria set out by the French government, leaving the event at risk of a deficit.
The tournament was to be staged during October and November 2025.
The International Rugby League (IRL) says it will now consider other options for the 2025 tournament, with the board due to meet in July.
“It’s difficult to express how disappointed I am with this news,” said IRL chair Troy Grant.
“There’s no secret as to how important the strengthening of France as a rugby league nation is to our global game and central to our strategic plans.
“I respect the French government’s decision amid the challenges they are facing but I can’t hide my disappointment, that I conveyed clearly to them in person.
“Despite our focus having been on France, we will now accelerate our consideration of other contingency options.”
The 2025 tournament in France was to consist of four versions of the World Cup format; men’s, women’s, wheelchair and youth.
England held the event in 2022, with Australia being crowned the men’s and women’s champions and the hosts claiming the wheelchair title.
“After the success of last autumn’s Rugby League World Cup in England, it is imperative that all in the sport now work with International Rugby League to rebuild the international calendar, for men’s, women’s and wheelchair rugby league,” said Rugby Football League chair Simon Johnson.
Tournament in France ‘simply wasn’t viable’ – analysis
Dave Woods, BBC rugby league correspondent
The news is devastating for French Rugby League. What a carnival and boost for the game it would have been in that country.
But a withdrawal of government support, and a lack of confirmed funding to ensure the tournament wouldn’t have made huge losses, meant it simply wasn’t viable.
This has been on the cards for a while. Question is, how do the board of the International Rugby League react to this? And what does that mean for England?
The next two years are plotted out. England will play Tonga over here this year, and the likelihood is that Samoa will tour these shores in 2024.
It’s too soon for the IRL to find a replacement host for a 2025 World Cup, so no doubt the RFL will be pulling out all the stops to bring Australia to England that year. They were already pencilled in for a tour the following year.
That would leave 2026 clear for the next World Cup, with time enough to organise properly.
The best chance for the tournament to take place would be if it was held in the Antipodes. That would mean Australia or New Zealand as hosts, and that’s a mouth-watering prospect given the rise of the Pacific nations.
Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and Papua New Guinea don’t have the infrastructure to stage an event like this. But they do have huge supporter bases living in both Australia and New Zealand that would help fill stadiums given the emerging success in recent years of all those countries’ rugby league sides.
A shared hosting of the tournament by those two rugby league super powers would seem the likeliest option. And if the powers down under throw their weight behind that proposal, it would be a tournament built on rock-solid foundations, rather than French sand.