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Goverment pledge £16m to support Rugby League

The Government have announced a £16m injection to the RFL to secure the immediate future of the sport.

The emergency loan will help with the extreme financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The game is currently suspended indefinitely.

It will also help keep the game stable ahead of the 2021 World Cup. The historic event will see the Men, Women and Wheelchair teams compete at the same time.

The government have included making a tournament a success in their manifesto.

Super League CEO Robert Elstone said: “Arriving at the most challenging time in our 125-year history, this is critical and invaluable support.

“For many people, particularly in the north of England, rugby league is more than a sport: our Clubs are key employers and play an essential role in local economies; they are also vital social hubs where families bond and communities stand proudly together.

“The Game is grateful that the Government has backed up promises it made to the north of the England at the General Election.”

Robert Elstone welcomes this support from the government. Credit: Mark Cosgrove/News Images

Secretary of State for Digital, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden added: “We recognise that many RFL clubs operate on very tight financial margins.

“Without their ability to stage matches with spectators and despite the Government’s extensive economic package, the professional game has come very close to collapsing.

“From my first sports visit as Secretary of State to Leigh Centurions, I could see how important these clubs are to the communities they serve. They are the beating heart of their towns and cities, and their impact goes far beyond what happens on the pitch.

“In this case we are intervening as an exception, not to save an individual business or organisation, but to protect an entire sport, the community it supports, the World Cup held here next year and its legacy for generations to come.”

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