Turkey granted membership of World Rugby
Following on from Council meeting, World Rugby’s supreme decision-making body approved the recommendation of the Executive and Regional Committees to accept the three unions as associate members, which included European members, Turkey, after each demonstrated the necessary governance criteria.
Turkey has a growing rugby following with the latest Nielsen fan-sizing research demonstrating more than nine million people are either interested or very interested in the sport.
Jordan and Qatar have been making strides in Asia. Qatar’s first rugby club was first established in 1974 with international representation coming in 2006.
Jordan has a thriving women’s game and the men’s team made their international 15s debut in 2010. Jordan also holds the record for the lowest-ever rugby match, played at 400 metres below sea level.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “As part of our continuing commitment to grow and diversify the global game we are delighted to welcome Jordan, Qatar and Turkey as associate members of World Rugby, three unions who have an exciting rugby appetite and potential.
“Being part of the rugby family will accelerate rugby’s growth in these countries by providing them with continuous support and a solid framework to develop the three unions in a sustainable and efficient way.”
Turkish Rugby Federation President Murat Pazan said: "On behalf of the Turkish Rugby Federation, I would like to thank World Rugby and Rugby Europe for all of their support, trust and guidance. We are honoured to become associate member and to be a part of the World Rugby family. It will be a huge boost to Turkish rugby's development, which we have been dreaming of and working for a very long time. This important milestone achieved, we would like to thank everyone who helped us on this journey."
Jordan Rugby Committee Chairman, HRH Prince Mired Ra’ad Zaid Al-Hussain said: “On behalf of the Jordan Rugby community, I would like to thank all members of World Rugby for electing Jordan Rugby as an associate member. It is a very important step in the development of rugby in Jordan and a deserved reward after the tremendous efforts made over the last 10 years by everyone involved in this great game.”
Qatar Rugby Federation President Yousef Al Kuwari said: “On behalf of the Qatar Rugby Federation and all rugby players and fans in the country, we are pleased and honoured to become an associate member of World Rugby. With 40 years of rugby in Qatar, this recognition will support the game’s growth in our country and hopefully improve our competitiveness on the international stage.”