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Nauru withdraw from International Cup

International Cup 2005

Fixtures involving Nauru have been omitted from a revised International Cup draw posted on afl.com.au, suggesting that the struggling Pacific nation has withdrawn from the competition.

The effect of this disappointing development is that the revised International Cup draw now includes 10 nations that will compete in a four-round league format including semi-finals and a grand final. With the pool system removed, the draw will no longer be lopsided as was scheduled following Denmark's earlier withdrawal.

Nauru's attendance at the Cup has been a matter of speculation for several months. As the only nation where Australian football is acknowledged as the national sport, Nauru's participation at the Cup is automatically assumed by many, though in recent years the island nation has fallen upon hard times and the current state of the Nauru Australian Football Association is difficult to gauge. The Nauruan economy has suffered a severe downturn over the past decade as the nation's phosphate reserves have been depleted, destroying their principal source of income and leaving the nation in virtual bankruptcy. This situation has no doubt made life in Nauru progressively more difficult for its citizens, and it is unknown what effects such a transition have had on the Australian football scene there.

However, one possible upside from Nauru's withdrawal is that it may bring about more intense International Cup competition. Under the revised system, the top four teams after four rounds will play off in semi-finals to determine the Cup finalists. It is conceivable that due to the limited league format, these four places might be decided by percentage only if two or more teams finish with the same number of wins. Teams finishing outside the top four will play amongst themselves to determine lower rankings.

Worldfootynews.com will bring you more news concerning Nauru's withdrawal as it occurs. Our editorial team, along with the international football community, hope that the situation there is not too desperate and that Australian football has not been a casualty of the difficult times the Nauruans currently face.

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Nauru withdraw from International Cup | 3 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Nauru withdraw from International Cup
Authored by: Nick on Saturday, July 30 2005 @ 04:14 am ACST

Having just visited Nauru with my school, I was privileged enough to attend many of their AFL matches.
What is so amazing about football in Nauru is that it is a way of life, not just a sport. Despite having gravel ovals which are frequently flooded, a climate which rarely drops below 30 degrees Celsius and an ex-NSW Post motorbike as a stretcher, they play with a passion rarely seen in most AFL teams. They take big marks and tackle hard without thinking of the consequences. As a result, there are many instances of gravel rash and severe grazes, but this does nothing to dent the enthusiasm of the players, who range from 6 to 25 years of age.
As well as viewing matches, we met one of the selectors of the international team; a man aptly named Jezza. He was extremely excited about the prospect of sending a team to Australia to participate in what Nauruans have termed the 'World Cup'.
It would be a tragedy if a nation so passionate about this great game is unable to send a team for this showcase of international talent.

Nauru withdraw from International Cup
Authored by: Brett Northey on Sunday, July 31 2005 @ 12:25 am ACST

That's great info thanks. Nauru certainly are known to have some good players and revere the game. But they were always going to struggle to raise the money for travel, given their economy is in such a bad way. So unfortunately they won't be at the Cup.


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Brett Northey - Co-founder of WFN, Chief Editor and Editor for North America and Africa

Nauru withdraw from International Cup
Authored by: Peter Parry on Sunday, July 31 2005 @ 04:09 am ACST

Must be so very sad for them not to be able to make it. It raises the need for decent sponsorship for the 2008 International Cup in the 150th year of Australian football, so that all teams, particularly those from struggling economies, can send their best squads.