Archive | August 2019

Nations prepare for Middle East Africa rugby league championship

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 30 August, 2019

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

NATIONS READYING FOR MEA CHAMPIONSHIP

Preparations are well under way in all the four competing nations who will be part of the second Middle East Africa Championship, to be held in Lagos, Nigeria from 2-5 October; the hosts, fellow debutants Ghana and the Cameroon, and Morocco, who return to the international arena.

Nigeria’s domestic competition is set to kick off in a fortnight as a pre-cursor to the tournament and NRL vice-president and general manager Ade Adebisi noted: “We have held a number of successful national training sessions in the capital and in the North of the country and look forward to being joined by stars from overseas, like Tuoyo Egodo and Sadiq Adebiyi nearer to the kick off. Last weekend we partnered up with Ghana to put a team into the London 9s for the first time and it was very clear that we have the talent. On top of this, we have an experienced coach in Joe Mbu who will be able to blend it all together. We still have a lot of work to do, but the building blocks are all there.”

Farouk Prempeh, president of Ghana Rugby League, added: “The MEA Championships will help put Ghana on the rugby league map. Domestically we’ve just held a successful men’s club season involving four clubs and the majority of the national team will come from there. Following the profile we’ll gain from this great event we know participation will increase next year. We are very pleased with our preparations and the MEA Championship has provided a very positive atmosphere for the sport in Ghana.”

Carol Manga, Cameroon Rugby League’s general manager, noted: “ All the nations in the MEA Championship are going to gain in experience as, for many, this is our first time in a big tournament. Our love, passion, sacrifices and commitments will be justified and we are hugely excited. Our head Coach Khalil Njoya is working closely with all the players and the board members are tirelessly undertaking to get more sponsors and government support. Five men’s teams in Cameroon are currently in the middle of their club season and there is huge excitement at squad training.”

Yamina Abdesselem, president of Morocco Rugby League, claimed: “We are humbled as a Federation to participate, we find a lot of joy and pleasure from this adventure. Our men’s national team will come mainly from the six-team domestic championship. The tournament will give another dimension to the XIII Moroccan and contribute to the development of the sport in North Africa.”

In addition to the matches, there will be coaching and match official programmes surrounding the Championship, and the 2021 Rugby League World Cup team will also be bringing the trophy and delivering additional education, development and profile to support the sport’s growth in the region.

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

Web: http://www.rlef.eu.com

RLEF

The Rugby League European Federation

55 King Street,

Manchester M2 4LQ

This e-mail (including any attachments) is intended only for the recipient(s) named above. It may contain confidential or privileged information and should not be read, copied or otherwise used without prior written consent. Statements or opinions may be expressed in this e-mail that are personal to the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the RLEF.

The RLEF is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law).

It is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that opening this message and/or any of its attachments will not adversely affect its systems. No responsibility is accepted by the RLEF. If you are not the named recipient, please contact the sender and delete the e-mail from your system.

RFL is a trading name of The Rugby Football League Limited. This message and any attachments are strictly confidential and may contain legally privileged information.The contents of the transmission are intended for the named addressee(s) only. If you are not the addressee please do not read, print, store or re-transmit it or any attachments to it.Instead, please email it back to the sender and then immediately permanently delete it from your system. The views or opinions presented here are solely of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Rugby Football League Limited.The Rugby Football League Limited is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law). The Rugby Football League Limited is a company registered in England with company number 3845473. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 168 8110 49.The Rugby Football League Limited also acts on behalf of Super League (Europe) Ltd, a company registered in England with company number 3238540. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 698 6526 64. UIT42524252
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Turkey face Ukraine in Rugby League U19s European Championship qualifier this weekend

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 28 August, 2019

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

TURKEY FACE UKRAINE IN RUGBY LEAGUE U19S EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIER THIS WEEKEND

Turkey will face Ukraine this Saturday (31 August) at the Beylerbeyi Stadium, Istanbul to determine the eighth nation to play in the 2020 U19s European Championship (kick off 3pm).

The winners will head to Lignano Sabbiadoro in Italy to join the hosts, France, England, Wales, Scotland, Serbia and Ireland from 3–13 September next year.

Turkey RLA have run training camps in Eskisehir, Ankara and Istanbul in preparation.

“The U19 European Championship is a big stage for us and qualification for the main event would mean a huge step,” said their U19 head coach, Kemal Ege Gurkan.

“Whatever the result, we aim to create a team that is embraced. This is likely to be a generation that will represent Turkey at the higher stages of international rugby league in senior level and they need to start their stories by winning hearts in this campaign.”

Rugby League in Turkey has continued to grow with more than 15 men’s and women’s teams competing, encompassing around four hundred senior players and their leading side, Kadikoy Bullls, reaching the semi finals of the Balkan Super League.

“We are actively encouraging more players especially youngsters aged between 16-19, who are making their first steps in the sport,” added Gurkan.

Team Manager Oytun Colok noted: “Turkey is a country with a young population. We prepare our young players for international matches mentally, technically and physically and are creating a genuine brotherhood.”

Their selected squad represents ten domestic clubs.

Their Ukrainian counterparts have played two games in Serbia as part of their build up, defeating Serbia U19s ‘A’ 44-0 and the full Serbian U19s side, 32-10, both games at the SC Inge stadium in Belgrade.

Artur Martyrosian, Ukraine Federation of Rugby League president, commented: “One of the general aims of our Federation is to grow the sport to the highest level, so the participation of our senior and junior national teams at European Championships is a very important pointer. We really want to take a part in the full U19s European Championship next year.”

Lviv contribute seven players to the Ukrainian squad, which is made up of players from six domestic clubs.

The match can be seen via livestream at: https://www.facebook.com/events/355554695368339/?ti=icl

TURKEY U19 SQUAD

Kaan Baran Çetiner (Ankara Phrygians), Burak Özkan, Seyit Ülker, Burakcan Yermez, Mert Yıldırım, (Aqua Rugby), Mustafa Efe (Avcı), Eymen Agdas (Badgers), Alperen Güneş (Eskişehir Çamlıca sk), Doruk Terzi (İzmir Owls), Caner Ark, Kerim Cömert, Eyüp Ensar Das, Ramazan Tomruk (Kandira Akçakoca sk), Oğuz Ergen, Deniz Küçük, Yusuf Can Tunç (Kadıköy Bulls), Canberk Demirci, Batuhan Köse, Alperen Yaman (Olimpos), Presley Cochrane-Salman (Western City Tigers)

UKRAINE U19 SQUAD

Ivan Kapustiak, Maksym Shevchuk (Burevіsnik), Oleksandr Slizovskyi (Dnipro), Vitalii Puchkov (Legion XIII), Orest Adamyk, Daniil Hapon, Yurii Kolosovskyi, Rostyslav Kovalyshyn, Danylo Kozak, Oleh Kunynets, Ihor Vashcuk (Lviv Tigers), Vitalii Boichuk, Andrii Ivaniuk, Taras Splavnyk (Stanislaviv), Vadym Polishchuk, Oleksandr Rozhko, Danylo Vedler (West Giants)

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

Web: http://www.rlef.eu.com

RLEF

The Rugby League European Federation

55 King Street,

Manchester M2 4LQ

This e-mail (including any attachments) is intended only for the recipient(s) named above. It may contain confidential or privileged information and should not be read, copied or otherwise used without prior written consent. Statements or opinions may be expressed in this e-mail that are personal to the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the RLEF.

The RLEF is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law).

It is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that opening this message and/or any of its attachments will not adversely affect its systems. No responsibility is accepted by the RLEF. If you are not the named recipient, please contact the sender and delete the e-mail from your system.

RFL is a trading name of The Rugby Football League Limited. This message and any attachments are strictly confidential and may contain legally privileged information.The contents of the transmission are intended for the named addressee(s) only. If you are not the addressee please do not read, print, store or re-transmit it or any attachments to it.Instead, please email it back to the sender and then immediately permanently delete it from your system. The views or opinions presented here are solely of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Rugby Football League Limited.The Rugby Football League Limited is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law). The Rugby Football League Limited is a company registered in England with company number 3845473. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 168 8110 49.The Rugby Football League Limited also acts on behalf of Super League (Europe) Ltd, a company registered in England with company number 3238540. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 698 6526 64. UIT42524252

Serbia replace Russia in Rugby League World Cup qualifiers

SERBIA REPLACE RUSSIA IN RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS

Serbia has replaced Russia in group two of the final European World Cup qualifiers, after the Russians were withdrawn.

Serbia will face now Scotland in Glasgow on 26th October and host Greece in Belgrade on 9 November, the top two nations making the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England.

Denis Koralev, president of the Russian Association of Rugby League Klubs commented: “This is not a sudden or unexpected decision, we have been in regular contact with the RLEF about our position, and need to re-boost the sport here.

“Rugby League is still being played but there are some domestic issues including constitution of the board that we need to look at.”

Tournament Director for the qualification games Chris Thair said: “Russia’s withdrawal is unfortunate, however, all parties agreed it was the right course of action. After expressing concerns over their preparations and readiness to play, I made a recommendation that was backed by the RLEF and approved by the RLIF board, who own the World Cup property.”

Thair added: “Serbia finished third in the European B competition compared to Norway who were second in European C, whose fixtures doubled as World Cup qualifiers. All the other nations have been kept abreast of matters throughout and I thank them for their patience and support – we even had the remarkable situation of the Serbian general secretary acting as our interpreter with the Russian Federation and trying to find solutions for Russia to stay in the competition, even though Serbia would be the beneficiaries if they withdrew.

“Every avenue was explored with Russia and we do wish to see a strong rugby league presence in the country. We have agreed a number of supportive measures with Denis. The RLEF will soon be advertising for a new board of directors on their behalf to take their federation forward into a new era.”

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

Web: http://www.rlef.eu.com

RLEF

The Rugby League European Federation

55 King Street,

Manchester M2 4LQ

This e-mail (including any attachments) is intended only for the recipient(s) named above. It may contain confidential or privileged information and should not be read, copied or otherwise used without prior written consent. Statements or opinions may be expressed in this e-mail that are personal to the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the RLEF.

The RLEF is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law).

It is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that opening this message and/or any of its attachments will not adversely affect its systems. No responsibility is accepted by the RLEF. If you are not the named recipient, please contact the sender and delete the e-mail from your system.

RFL is a trading name of The Rugby Football League Limited. This message and any attachments are strictly confidential and may contain legally privileged information.The contents of the transmission are intended for the named addressee(s) only. If you are not the addressee please do not read, print, store or re-transmit it or any attachments to it.Instead, please email it back to the sender and then immediately permanently delete it from your system. The views or opinions presented here are solely of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Rugby Football League Limited.The Rugby Football League Limited is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law). The Rugby Football League Limited is a company registered in England with company number 3845473. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 168 8110 49.The Rugby Football League Limited also acts on behalf of Super League (Europe) Ltd, a company registered in England with company number 3238540. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 698 6526 64. UIT42524252

Tribute paid to Belgium rugby league stalwart

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 23 August, 2019

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

TRIBUTE PAID TO BELGIUM RUGBY LEAGUE STALWART

One of the stalwart administrators in European rugby league, Yves-Michael Kazadi, is standing down after ten years – the last five as president – of the Belgium Rugby League Association, due to ill-health.

“It has been a pleasure to help develop the sport here but I must now focus on my family,” he said

“I am hoping to be back in some capacity. We made it to 17th in the world rankings, were helped from the beginning by our neighbours in the Netherlands, and our most recent national head coach Tony Benson who significantly helped to raise the standard and profile over the past three years.”

The Belgium Rugby League Association began under Kazadi in 2009 and has played men’s internationals on a regular basis, most frequently against the Czech Republic and Netherlands.

A full domestic club competition has yet to be developed but teams based in Brussels and outlying areas have crossed the border to play competitive games.

In 2019, the Brussels Falcons fly the flag for the sport with a men’s team who support two junior clubs, the Panthers and the Bears.

The Falcons, like their predecessors in the capital, the Gorillas, are looking into playing in the men’s competition in the Netherlands to gain regular games.

“We played a memorable international against Malta at Headingley as a curtain-raiser to a Super League game which showed that you can dream big,” Kazadi continued.

Zakaria Zoubir will take over the running of the BRLA as an interim lead and Francois Gillet the lead for development in the Wallonie–Bruxelles region.

Belgium RL has also engaged in the RLEF’s technical programme, part-funded by the European Union’s Erasmus+ grant.

“On behalf of the European and International Federations, I’d like to publically thank Yves-Michael for his unstinting services to rugby league in Belgium,” said RLIF global general manager, Danny Kazandjian, who worked with Kazadi to help establish the sport.

“He’s one of dozens of unsung heroes and deserves public accolade for the work he has done to establish the sport in an unfamiliar environment and, often, against the odds.”

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

Web: http://www.rlef.eu.com

RLEF

The Rugby League European Federation

55 King Street,

Manchester M2 4LQ

This e-mail (including any attachments) is intended only for the recipient(s) named above. It may contain confidential or privileged information and should not be read, copied or otherwise used without prior written consent. Statements or opinions may be expressed in this e-mail that are personal to the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the RLEF.

The RLEF is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law).

It is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that opening this message and/or any of its attachments will not adversely affect its systems. No responsibility is accepted by the RLEF. If you are not the named recipient, please contact the sender and delete the e-mail from your system.

RFL is a trading name of The Rugby Football League Limited. This message and any attachments are strictly confidential and may contain legally privileged information.The contents of the transmission are intended for the named addressee(s) only. If you are not the addressee please do not read, print, store or re-transmit it or any attachments to it.Instead, please email it back to the sender and then immediately permanently delete it from your system. The views or opinions presented here are solely of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Rugby Football League Limited.The Rugby Football League Limited is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law). The Rugby Football League Limited is a company registered in England with company number 3845473. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 168 8110 49.The Rugby Football League Limited also acts on behalf of Super League (Europe) Ltd, a company registered in England with company number 3238540. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 698 6526 64. UIT42524252

RLIF Statement re Greek Rugby League Association decision to host World Cup Qualifying game in London

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The RLIF has noted the decision of the Greek Rugby League Association (GRLA) to host their “home” RLIF World Cup 2021 qualification game against Scotland in London.

Global Operations Manager Danny Kazandjian said,

“Whilst the decision of the GRLA to host their game against Scotland in London is perfectly understandable it is still a sad state of affairs which will deny players the opportunity to play in front of their home audience and the local fans to support their national team. However, the two teams need to make their preparations with certainty and this decision allows them to get on and prepare fully for this vital fixture.

“The GRLA, the Rugby League European Federation (RLEF) and the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) have all worked together to try to resolve the issues which are created by the intransigence of the Greek Modern Pentathlon Federation, which technically, in the eyes of the Greek authorities, has governance responsibility for rugby league in Greece. This is despite the fact that we, as the pertinent international federation, do not recognise modern pentathlon’s authority. International federation endorsement is enshrined in Greek sports law so the status quo is untenable.

“We have tried to seek support from our fellow GAISF member, the international federation for modern pentathlon, UIPM, who have been reluctant to get involved. We note with gratitude their recent statement clarifying that UIPM has no desire to have authority over any sports other than their own.”

ENDS

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Greece to play Rugby League World Cup Qualifier in London

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 21 August, 2019

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

GREECE TO PLAY RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP QUALIFIER IN LONDON

The Greek Rugby League Association has confirmed that, due to continued difficulties staging their 2021 Rugby League World Cup Qualifier in Athens, the ‘home’ match with Scotland will be held in London, at the home of London Skolars.

The tie will take place under lights at the New River Stadium on Friday 1 November.

“We are working on getting the governance issues sorted out in Greece with the Hellenic Federation of Modern Pentathlon but, with time running out, the decision was made to take the game to London,” said GRLA official Terry Liberopoulos. “We’d like to thank Scotland Rugby League for their understanding and patience and I’m sure both nations will do international rugby league proud.”

Greece qualified for this deciding group of matches, which also includes Russia, after beating Norway 56-26 in the final of European Championship C at the New River Stadium last time out.

Greek Rugby League Association president George Stilianos added: “Of course we were hoping to play this match in Greece but since that was not possible, we are very excited to be returning to the New River Stadium. It was a great event when we played there in May and we thank the Skolars’ management for helping us once again. It will be a great match and I urge all rugby league fans in London to turn up and show their support the international game.”

Keith Hogg, chair of Scotland Rugby League noted: “We are really looking forward to what will be a very competitive and very important game. We would have really enjoyed playing the game in Athens but that was not to be. This has been a case of everyone involved working together to find the best solution to a very challenging situation. It has been great to see Greece, Scotland and the European Federation all pulling in the same direction to get the most sensible outcome, together with the support of everyone London Skolars.”

Last week, Scotland Rugby League confirmed that they had reached a significant agreement with Scottish beer brand McEwan’s, to sponsor their domestic National League from 2020.

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

Web: http://www.rlef.eu.com

RLEF

The Rugby League European Federation

55 King Street,

Manchester M2 4LQ

This e-mail (including any attachments) is intended only for the recipient(s) named above. It may contain confidential or privileged information and should not be read, copied or otherwise used without prior written consent. Statements or opinions may be expressed in this e-mail that are personal to the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the RLEF.

The RLEF is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law).

It is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that opening this message and/or any of its attachments will not adversely affect its systems. No responsibility is accepted by the RLEF. If you are not the named recipient, please contact the sender and delete the e-mail from your system.

RFL is a trading name of The Rugby Football League Limited. This message and any attachments are strictly confidential and may contain legally privileged information.The contents of the transmission are intended for the named addressee(s) only. If you are not the addressee please do not read, print, store or re-transmit it or any attachments to it.Instead, please email it back to the sender and then immediately permanently delete it from your system. The views or opinions presented here are solely of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Rugby Football League Limited.The Rugby Football League Limited is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law). The Rugby Football League Limited is a company registered in England with company number 3845473. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 168 8110 49.The Rugby Football League Limited also acts on behalf of Super League (Europe) Ltd, a company registered in England with company number 3238540. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 698 6526 64. UIT42524252

Greece Rugby League coach is frustrated by inability to plan for Athens World Cup qualifier

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Steve Georgallis, the coach of Greece, who will play in the final qualification stages for the RLIF Rugby League World Cup 2021 against Russia and Scotland, is frustrated by the bizarre circumstances that are hindering the planning of the home game against Scotland and consequently the preparation of the squad.

“It is very frustrating and something unfortunately we have become very accustomed to,” said Georgallis. “The main issue is logistics. We can’t plan ahead because we don’t know which city we will be playing in. Also, it’s difficult for family and friends who want to book travel to support the team.”

The Greek Rugby League Association (GRLA), who are recognised as the official national governing body for rugby league in Greece and are an affiliate member of the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) are not recognised as the NGB by the Greek government. Due to local influence, a ‘rugby league committee’ has been placed within the Hellenic Federation for Modern Pentathlon (HFMP) by the government department responsible. The president of the HFMP, Tasos Pantazidis, is the former president of the disgraced Hellenic Rugby League, which was expelled from the RLIF for malpractice. The HFMP have actively disrupted legitimate games and activity in the past and the GRLA officials fear that staging a game against Scotland in Athens may lead to further legal problems and they are not prepared at this stage to take that risk.

Coach Georgallis is still preparing his team for the game in Russia and the “home” game against Scotland, wherever that may take place.

“I am confident that we will be very competitive. Scotland and Russia are quality sides who have reached this last stage with good performances and we will need to match their skill and aggressive qualities.

“Personally, it means everything to play this game in Athens. To be able to represent Greece on home soil in front of family, friends and supporters is the main reason anyone plays sport for their country.”

The RLIF has welcomed a statement from the Union International de Pentathon Moderne (UIPM), who are the international governing body for modern pentathlon, which clearly states that they have no interest in running rugby league or any other sport than their own.

“UIPM notes that it has again been drawn into a dispute relating to the sport of rugby league in Greece. Given that this is not the first time this has occurred, UIPM hereby reiterates that it is the world governing body of the Olympic sport of Modern Pentathlon and other multi-discipline sports (Tetrathlon, Triathle, Biathle, World Schools Biathlon and Laser Run). UIPM has never had nor will it have any interest in governing sports outside its jurisdiction.

The Hellenic Federation of Modern Pentathlon remains a member of UIPM and it is currently in good standing with UIPM.

UIPM will defend its name and reputation against anybody who implies that the Union is responsible for a dispute relating to a sport outside its jurisdiction, or for the resolution of any such dispute.”

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