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CAPE TOWN, South Africa, May 22, 2019—The Algerian Rugby Federation, formed in 2015, has been accepted as an affiliate member of World Rugby.
"Today is a historic day because we officially join as an associate member of World Rugby," said Abdelkader Sofian Ben Hassen, President of the Algerian Rugby Federation. "We have worked hard to achieve this goal and I would like to thank Rugby Africa, who guided us, all the volunteers, educators, rugby club presidents, the national team players and staff, not to mention our private partners who believed in us from day one and of course our Board. And I thank our Minister of Sports for his trust and for allowing us to enter this great sport’s forum and the National Olympic Committee of Algeria for its exceptional support. Thank you all, we are on our way for new rugby adventures. “
The ARF was only admitted to Rugby Africa in 2016. Algeria surprised the world of African rugby by finishing as winners of the Bronze Cup in 2017 during their first participation and similarly by emerging winners of the Silver Cup in 2018, earning 7th place in the African rankings.
"I extend my sincere congratulations to the Algerian Rugby Federation, which has achieved this milestone in record time," added Rugby Africa President Khaled Babbou. "This is a well-deserved recognition of all the work done for many years by President Ben Hassen and his team. Beyond the FAR, it is also teamwork on a continental scale that pays today. My thanks also go to the former President and now Honorary President of Rugby Africa, Abdelaziz Bougja, who was a strong supporter of the Algerian file as well as to the technical team of Rugby Africa who supported the FAR in this process.”
On May 16, the federation signed a historic convention with the Algerian Federation of School Sports to introduce rugby into schools from September 2019. The number of Algerian schoolchildren and students reached 12 million in the Algerian territory for the 2018/2019 school year, the growth potential of rugby is therefore very significant.
On May 3, during the visit of the officers of Rugby Africa, the FAR organized the final of the various competitions including a sevens competition for women and girls (U14, U16, U18, senior), and another sevens for men and boys (U14, U16, U18, seniors).
There was also a four-team senior 15s competition.
As such, the Algerian rugby federation is already at work to be able to file its application to be a full member, which would allow the ARC the opportunity to receive grants from the international body and the opportunity to qualify for the most prestigious international competitions.