The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed an appeal from the Tonga National Rugby League (TNRL) against its expulsion from the sport's global governing organisation, the International Rugby League (IRL).
Tonga were suspended in late 2019 after a dispute between players, coaches and the board over finances and resources.
They were removed from the governing body in February last year and appealed the expulsion before sport's highest court in December.
However, CAS said in a statement that TNRL had refused to co-operate with the IRL's investigation and failed to consider good governance recommendations.
"The panel of CAS arbitrators ... established that expulsion was a proportional disciplinary sanction for TNRL's failure to comply with its IRL membership duties," CAS said.
Australian Associated Press