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Qatar makes bid to host Rugby League World Cup

Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are all working to host more international sporting events as they diversify their economies. Rugby league has a following in Lebanon, but is relatively unknown in the region.
Qatar rugby

Qatar could potentially host a major international rugby tournament in 2025, according to a Wednesday report. The news comes as the Gulf sports rivalry is heating up.

France unexpectedly withdrew from hosting the 2025 Rugby League World Cup on Monday. On Wednesday, the sports governing body, International Rugby League, said they have received interest from Qatar, South Africa, Fiji and New Zealand to host the tournament in place of France, according to The Associated Press.

International Rugby League chairman Troy Grant said at a press conference on Wednesday that the body has yet to determine how viable Qatar or the other potential host countries are for hosting the tournament. 

“(It) gives me comfort that there’s interest in our sport, in our tournament, in our World Cup. That’s a positive," said Grant, per a recording sent to Al-Monitor by the International Rugby League. "How real or viable any or all of those options are, we have yet to make those assessments."

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