Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Australian Football League (AFL) has confirmed to Wikinews that the Australian Football International Cup has been played as a community event “with open access to enable any supporters of all teams to be able to attend.” The preliminary games of the 2008 International Cup were played predominately at Royal Park, Melbourne with spectators able to watch without purchasing tickets.

“All matches in the past have been open through the preliminary rounds, with the Grand Final played at the MCG as a curtain-raiser to an AFL match [sic],” the AFL said in a statement.

Papua New Guinea 7-12 (54)
New Zealand 7-4 (46)
Melbourne Cricket Ground

Papua New Guinea (PNG) defeated New Zealand (NZ) in the final of the latest Australian Football International Cup. They had previously finished second to Ireland in 2002 and New Zealand in 2005.

PNG will go into the 2011 Cup as defending champions.

Last month, AFL Germany criticized the AFL for providing insufficient funding to European leagues. Germany has a a local league with some success but AFL Germany holds the position that money that would be spent sending a team to the International Cup would be better spent developing the game locally.

“We would be in exactly the same situation today if we would have never had any contact with the AFL,” said AFL Germany president Malte Schudlich.

“We don’t have any consideration at this time for a broadcasting arrangement for the 2011 International Cup,” the AFL said in the response to Wikinews’.

Conceivably this opens the door for broadcasters to broadcast International Cup matches without reimbursing the AFL, the de facto world governing body for Australian rules football.

In the past, AFL clubs have played an exhibition or Pre-Season Cup game at an overseas location. The AFL currently has no plans for this to happen, in any form, in 2010. “At this point, we don’t have any matches planned for overseas in the lead-up to the 2010 season, but are prepared to consider some options for 2011 if the economic situation improves,” the AFL told Wikinews.