The Rugby League World Cup, due to take place later this year, has been postponed following the withdrawals of Australia and New Zealand.
The two nations announced their decision in a joint statement a couple of weeks ago. A sentiment that was recently backed up by the NRL clubs, who said they would not allow their players to travel.
Despite extensive talks with the ARLC and New Zealand Rugby League, organisers could not get them to change their stance, so took the decision to hold the tournament back 12 months.
Organisers say they wanted to produce the best tournament possible, however this was not possible in the current circumstances.
Chairman Jon Dutton said: “Today is a challenging moment for everyone involved in Rugby League, but most importantly the players and fans of the competing nations.
“Ultimately, time and competing priorities from others forced us to make the most difficult decision in our six-year history.
“However, we and the sport of Rugby League are resilient, and next year we will deliver our vision of the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup ever.
“We have always prioritised player voice and player choice. We have established a player working group, met with senior players and in the last few days commissioned a player survey to domestic players in Australia and New Zealand that showed more than 85% wanted to compete at RLWC2021 this year.
“However, following the disappointing decision of the ARLC and NZRL to withdraw, and the subsequent impact on player availability for other competing nations, it is apparent that delivering the tournament this year would not be feasible.”