Belgium is now a full member of the FIL ©FIL

Belgium has become the latest member of the Federation of International Lacrosse, its Board of Directors has unanimously agreed.

Belgium joins Argentina as the 33rd and 34th full members. 

FIL development director Bob DeMarco claimed that both organisations were more than deserving of their status upgrade.

"We’re thrilled that Belgium is now a full member of FIL," he said. 

"From day one, Belgium has grown the sport the right way, building men’s and women’s lacrosse programs at the same time. 

"With assistance from the European Lacrosse Federation (ELF), the Netherlands and Germany, they also put a lot of effort into developing their officiating programme as well."

The Belgian Lacrosse Federation (BLF) is now one of 21 national governing bodies which are full members in Europe.

Jan Van Cauwenberge, BLF competition manager and member of the Board, saw this as a confirmation of the hard work that countless volunteers put in over many years and looks forward to putting in the effort expected of full members.

“As Belgium Lacrosse, we feel that it is our duty to represent our players in the international community," he said. 

"We wish to participate in the international discussion constructively and further facilitate the development of lacrosse across the globe. 

"Being a full FIL member will also help us to show our Olympic Committee, press, and sponsors that we are here to stay.”

Team Belgium at the 2016 ELF Men’s European Lacrosse Championship in Gödöllő, Hungary  ©FIL
Team Belgium at the 2016 ELF Men’s European Lacrosse Championship in Gödöllő, Hungary  ©FIL

The Belgium men’s national team recently finished 15th out of 24 teams at the 2016 ELF Men’s European Lacrosse Championship in Gödöllő in Hungary.

BLF became an associate member of FIL in 2010 and had grown steadily since then to earn full member status.

The men’s team also competed with 38 nations at the 2014 FIL Men’s Lacrosse World Championship in Denver, Colorado, and will be participating in next year's  FIL Men’s Lacrosse World Championship in Netanya in Israel. 

A totlal of 50 teams are expected to compete in Netanya in the largest international lacrosse championship ever held. 

Belgium will be looking to improve on its 27th place finish at the 2014 Men's World Championships in Commerce City in the United States. 

The Belgium women’s national team participated in its first international event when it competed at the 2015 ELF Women’s European Lacrosse Championship in Nymburk in the Czech Republic.

Most recently, the Belgian women competed in their first ever FIL event when they traveled to Guildford in England this past July, for the 2017 FIL Rathbones Women’s Lacrosse World Cup.

They finished 25th out of the 25 teams.