On September 10, 2022, in Cape Town, South Africa, Asia Rugby and Rugby Africa signed a Memorandum of Understanding to further expand cooperation between the two largest regional governing bodies of World Rugby.
The Chairman of World Rugby, Bill Beaumont, together with the responsible employees of World Rugby, representatives of Rugby Africa and members of the Executive Committee of Asia Rugby attended the signing ceremony of the memorandum. Also at the meeting was a member of the Asia Rugby Executive Committee, Secretary General of the Rugby Federation of Uzbekistan Kakhramon Jalilov.
The following topics were discussed: an exchange program of judges and a potential Afro-Asian XV women’s competition. This led to an unprecedented event when a female referee from Asia, Japanese Eri Kamimura, officiated the South Africa vs Namibia Women’s Championship XV match.
“This is a groundbreaking moment for Asia Rugby and Rugby Africa,” Qais Al Dhalai, President of Asia Rugby, said on the occasion. “We have been working on this project for six months and we have already seen cooperation in action with the exchange of match officials. Continental Federations are joining forces to help create more opportunities and a better future for match officials and players.”
Rugby Africa President Khaled Babbu commented: “So today we are really happy as Rugby Africa has signed a memorandum of understanding with Asia Rugby.
I think it is important that we start cross-regional cooperation. I would like to thank President Qais Al Dhalai and Rugby Asia, with all your expertise, for making this happen.”
Press-secretary of the rugby federation M. Abdukhalikova