Bill Beaumont’s re-election as World Rugby Chairman for another four years has divided opinion in the rugby world.
On the one hand, the English have confidence in their experience to help the game in challenging times. However, there is a long-standing frustration that Augustine Pichot’s freshness and vision did not move the old guard.
Former Argentina captain Pichto was widely regarded as the ideal candidate to try to modernize the player, with Asia Rugby president Kays Al Dhalai publicly endorsing in recent weeks as a bid to change the continent.
Beaumont’s announcement included a need to review the organizational structure of the sport. An important decision as rugby needs to be a game for all, not a game for established countries.
I’m talking Sport360, Al Dhalai says he is committed to working with Beaumont, but wants clarity on his plans for the near future.
“I believe the World Rugby chairman should further explain his intentions and plans for the near future.”
In the case of the “administrative structure” of the “voting system” reform, each union should be allowed to cast a vote in full line with the Olympic charter.
“Given rugby as an Olympic sport, it should follow the Olympic movement with the right to vote for every world full member of rugby so that world rugby proves that it has adopted the desired changes that were addressed by the majority of Asian and non-Asian member unions.”
As it stands, powerhouse countries such as England, Ireland, Wales and New Zealand received three votes each, with Japan having two votes, while the United States, Fiji and Georgia have almost one vote each.
Smaller unions are grouped together and two votes are cast between them, as unsuitable for Asia where there are 31 member unions – it will soon be under a 34-member steering committee.
“The voting structure of World Rugby does not mean that for any of us. The system is very clear in favor of supporting a few countries. How do some countries get three votes in each country and how do others get one vote? “She said.
“I am not criticizing but I am saying it is not fair. It only works for a few people. It should serve everyone’s purpose. Each union should have one vote. ”
With a population of 4.5 billion, Asia Rugby should be given financial support as part of Beaumont’s top priorities, along with administrative structure reform.
The continent hosted a successful Rugby World Cup in Japan last year and currently has three legs in the World Seven Series of the decade in Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai.
In terms of sports development, five Asian countries are in the top 20 in the world in the ranking of the Get Into Rugby program, with strategies to enhance the game globally by partnering with various member regions and unions.
“A region like Asia is geographically huge and has the largest youth population in the world. Shouldn’t reasonable funding be provided that should be considered reasonable and understandable? “She said.
“We have received about ৩ 1.3 million as a region with 31 member unions and 34 member unions ready to be reached soon.
“We have won more than 30 annual competitions, we have maintained a strong team of match officials, the Judicial Office, and we have been ranked first among the six regional organizations in the Get Into Rugby program.
“The Covid-11 sponsorship is affecting the market, especially nowadays, don’t we have to look at the financing?
“We are all looking forward to the chairman of World Rugby to deliver on the goals he set out in his candidacy and we will always work together.”
Al Dhalai, who has been associated with the UAE RF since its inception in 2009, joined Asia Rugby a year later and was elected a member of the executive committee in 2013, serving as secretary general in 2013.
The Dubai native won the right to become Asia Rugby president in November after a meeting of the Asia Rugby Executive Committee in Bali in support of his Japanese rival.
One of his main principles is to be transparent when taking office, using the first opportunity to go public with the fact that he voted for Pichot as chairman of Asia Rugby World Rugby.
“Since I became president in November, I have had three core principles: equality, transparency and accountability,” he said.
“Everything we do now in Asia is based on these three principles. You will see this when we announced Augustin Pichot as our leading World Rugby Chairman candidate. It was published, and it has never been done before. Asia Rugby has never announced a public candidate for World Rugby.
“I believe the only way forward is to be transparent, to be equal and to express reasonable opinions.”
Since setting foot in the hot seat in Asia Rugby, Al Dhalai has organized the competition calendar and announced its priorities with increasing funding.
The Covid-1p epidemic is currently difficult to deal with in the competition calendar, but the second half of the year is expected to see some rugby action.
“I’m trying to make a structured calendar where the first half of the year will always be for the 15-a-side. The second half of the year will always be the Sevens, ”he said.
“The second half of the year tournaments still need to be decided as we are observing the current Covid-1p epidemic.
“This is the first challenge to compete in a well-structured tournament. This would be appropriate for most unions because they are different.
“The Hong Kong league may be different from the one in Japan or the one in the UAE. We need to coordinate with each member union, check with their domestic league, whether they are in a 15 or 7 game. Based on that, we can establish our Asia Rugby Calendar. “
On the financial front, Johnny Stavrino was named as the new CEO in February, a decision that will help the administration move forward and establish an attractive product to sell to advertisers.
“In the last five years, Asia Rugby has had no sponsors. My second priority is bringing in board sponsors and maximizing our commercial value. The old fashioned way of selling sponsorships is gone. You need to have a strong media presence, you need to use your own resources, ”said Al Dhalai.
“We now have a new CEO and he is working with our media partners and our sponsorship partners to establish a good, attractive product. It will be launched very soon. ”
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