16 teams to contest IC08, a dozen more in the wings
Monday, July 14 2008 @ 02:00 am ACST
Contributed by: Brett Northey
The final list of nations competing for the 2008 Australian Football International Cup has been finalised. Here they are:
Papua New Guinea
Israel/Palestine Peace Team (debut)
Tonga was unable to make the final commitment due to issues such as player availability for the full duration of the tournament; we hope to have a chat to TAFA staff later. They are however expected to make an appearance outside the main draw as well as there being some practice matches for a few of the main combatants and teams representing some of Melbourne's ethnic communities.
Countries not attending that theoretically could have put together a side of current players who would qualify, or close to it, include:
Let's hope we see some of those for the fourth Cup in 2012. With 16 attending in the main draw and another 12 or so who would be close to the mark with just a little more development or less funding issues, that makes about 28 nations, besides Australia, with reasonably active football programs. There are of course several other countries with small or expatriate-Australian footy programs as well. There's no doubt the game, in general, is moving forwards internationally and gaining pace.
The full draw will be available on worldfootynews.com either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning (Australian time zones).