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Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 09:14 am ACDT

IAFC unveils new international policy

General NewsThe International Australian Football Council has released details of a major overhaul of its structure, staffing, constitution and position in relation to the AFL and the AFL's stated position as world governing body. The following article is a release from the IAFC staff, as listed on their website. In the interests of transparency, please note that the author of this World Footy News story was heavily involved in the IAFC re-structure. Whilst I would prefer to be completely independent, international Australian football is still relatively small, so overlap is inevitable. I make it my highest priority to be unbiased. If anyone ever has any doubts about that, please contact me to discuss, as I would hate the credibility of this news service to be compromised.

Update: by early 2005 my views regarding the current incarnation of the IAFC had changed and I resigned my position and no longer advocate for them, nor support all the statements made below. It had become clear that the so-called IAFC was effectively not the same body as the original one, as member countries no longer supported it and had attempted to wind it up (whether that was done completely in a technical sense is debated but all our sources have confirmed it was a unanimous decision). What I had been lead to believe was the same IAFC was not supported by any countries with football leagues, not democratic (run by one self-appointed person) and not transparent in its deailngs, even with its own small number of volunteers.

Update: by 2006 all pretence of an existing IAFC appears to have been ended, hopefully closing an ugly and distracting chapter in Australian footy's attempts at internationalising. IAFC release:

A new era for international footy

The IAFC was formed in 1995 to promote and develop Australian football internationally. Our mission statement is "To work with all stakeholders to fuel the growth of the world's greatest sport - Australian Rules football".

In recent times we have made some significant advances, including assisting with the 2002 International Cup, procuring full-time development officers for Tonga and the Solomon Islands, raising awareness in the Australian football community through extensive media engagement, providing a knowledge base in the form of the IAFC website and assisting the developers of World Footy News, staging the inaugural Multicultural Cup in Melbourne, and running amateur football ("Convicts") tours to Europe and South Africa (2005). This is just the start of what can be achieved to help the hardworking volunteers around the world, and the IAFC is steadily expanding as more people and businesses come forward to help grow the game they love.

However, we recognise that some organisations and people have been uncomfortable with the role the IAFC has sought to play, and potential conflict with the AFL's stated position as world governing body. We wish to resolve this issue so that all parties can move forward in our common goal of developing football - the sport is too small on an international scale for its supporters to not all be working together. We strongly believe there is a role for a body like the IAFC, which has shown an ability to tap numerous resources in the community and government that would otherwise be lost to football, but we recognise that many leagues do not feel the IAFC should serve as a controlling body. As such, we have developed a new draft policy (see below) to emphasise that we do not seek to play that role or threaten any established bodies, but simply aim to continue to work as a development group, allowing volunteers and businesses to have a focus for their goodwill towards Australian Rules football. We are working on several projects, and are very excited about the possibility of a Development Foundation, which we are investigating. We want everyone to feel that they have the opportunity to influence the role the IAFC plays, and ask for all countries to examine the draft and consider what they would like to see from the IAFC, and contact us with any issues.

The draft has been sent to all known controlling bodies in each country. We call on all leagues around the world to give us the opportunity to move forward together in a new era of cooperation to maximise the resources available to our great game. We look forward to your input. We feel that with the right support, the IAFC can help you all re-invigorate and accelerate the growth of the sport around the world.

Almost all IAFC policy has been modified to some extent, and the new information can be found at the IAFC website.

IAFC Staff Listing - www.iafc.com.au/contactus.html

IAFC Constitution - www.iafc.com.au/charter.doc

IAFC Strategic Plan for 2004-2008 - www.iafc.com.au/2004-2008.doc

IAFC Membership information - www.iafc.com.au/membership.html

IAFC FAQs - www.iafc.com.au/iafcfaq.html

As with all of these changes, we seek your feedback in developing our policies further. This will be an ongoing process, but we wish to release the initial policy soon, so we would very much appreciate all initial comments by December 14th.

We look forward to working with all individuals, clubs and leagues who recognise that, for our great game to grow and prosper internationally, football must always come before politics.

Draft Policy - Relationship between the IAFC and AFL

The International Australian Football Council (IAFC) was formed and exists to promote and develop Australian football internationally. It is committed to working with all bodies to help develop Australian football. Its focus is on:

1. Providing footballs and other resources to international leagues and clubs;

2. Conducting development visits, especially in new and developing countries;

3. Accreditation of international coaches, umpires and administrators, and

4. Assisting with staging international tournaments.

The IAFC is committed to using the sport of Australian football to break down barriers between people of different cultures. It is also committed to using the novelty and fitness aspects of the sport to help combat the growing rise of childhood obesity in many countries.

The IAFC acknowledges the AFL's role as the 'keeper of the code', and that many leagues recognise the AFL as the ultimate governing body. It does not seek to usurp that role.

The IAFC accepts that the AFL, as it has stated, cannot financially support the global expansion of Australian Football due to the simultaneous financial commitment to maintaining a viable 16 team domestic AFL competition and the development plans for New South Wales and Queensland.

The IAFC recognises that there are numerous opportunities for individuals and groups to assist in accelerating international development, and without an additional voluntary body these opportunities will not be realised. Australian football cannot afford to lose these resources. As such it is committed to providing a viable organisation that allows these people, clubs and businesses to work with all countries to maximise their development potential.

As a development body, the IAFC looks forward to assisting international bodies to identify and tap into the many additional revenue streams that exist outside Australia.

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