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Long list of possible attendees for next Cup

International Cup 2011

The AFL has asked for expressions of interest from countries wishing to attend the 2011 International Cup, to be held in Australia in August 2011, almost certainly in Melbourne and possibly a Victorian country area.

While we await the official list, here is some speculation about possible attendees.

The 2008 Cup, in finishing order, was:

1. Papua New Guinea
2. New Zealand
3. South Africa
4. Ireland
5. Nauru
6. Canada
7. USA
8. Japan
9. Great Britain
10. Samoa
11. Denmark
12. Sweden
13. Peace Team
14. Finland
15. China
16. India

Most of those nations would have a high probability of returning, with finances being the only likely issue for most (nevertheless a big issue). Perhaps the Peace Team will be in greatest doubt, and India is in the process of attempts to re-boot the game, so may be dependent on the success of the student league in development with Surrey Park in Melbourne.

Spain attended in 2005 but not 2008, and the AFL were open to the idea of Catalonia attending in 2008, so sides from one or both of those could be possibilities.

Tonga attended the 2008 Cup as part of the Multicultural community division (and was almost in the main draw), playing against Team Asia and Team Africa, but were hoping to join the main event soon. Any nation that sends a team to this year's senior Oceania Cup in Auckland will be a chance, which includes Tonga and Fiji, and may possibly include New Caledonia, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. In particular Fiji, who received AFL assistance in hosting the 2009 Oceania Youth Cup, have already indicated that they intend on being in Melbourne for the IC11.

Other countries that have been developing local players that could qualify include Italy, Croatia, France, Germany, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Iceland, Andorra and Norway.

Officials from France, Italy, the Netherlands, Iceland and Croatia have all informally expressed an interest, and all of those must be reasonable chances.


1. Spain
2. Catalonia
3. Tonga
4. Fiji
5. New Caledonia
6. Vanuatu
7. Solomon Islands
8. Croatia
9. France
10. Germany
11. Czech Republic
12. Netherlands
13. Iceland
14. Andorra
15. Norway
16. Italy

If all 16 return from the third Cup, and with 16 more "possibles" identified above, 2011 could see as many as 32 teams! But given the large financial commitment required, more likely hope to see about 20 to 24.

If indeed that many teams head Down Under, it again emphasises the need for the competition to be split into two divisions - it's difficult to see how any 1 to 2 week tournament could fairly separate 24 nations, and indeed the gap between the top and bottom could see "unproductive" contests.

Also unanswered is the possibility of some kind of Australian side being entered, such as an amateur under 18 team, but that is probably just wishful thinking by this author. Also wishful thinking would be to see one of the South American nations attend for the first time. But even without them, having such a long list of possible contenders is a great sign that our game truly is expanding dramatically.

Did we miss any countries? Did we list any that definitely will not be there? Let us know.

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Long list of possible attendees for next Cup | 18 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Long list of possible attendees for next Cup
Authored by: Joel Adin Porretta on Thursday, April 01 2010 @ 09:27 am ACDT

You're right the international game is expanding rapidly, so much so that I think we may need qualifiers for the International Cup.

Qualifiers will also make sure that the best international teams play in the IC giving a more even contest.

Long list of possible attendees for next Cup
Authored by: Christopher P. Adams, Ph.D. on Thursday, April 01 2010 @ 09:34 am ACDT

I'm not sure I like that idea. I think something more like USFooty's National Tournament. It is all comers but then teams are seeded and placed in divisions. It gets the best of both worlds - the elite teams competing for the coveted prize and all nations getting to be a part of an exciting event that will help foster participation and development in the home country.

Carna Revos!


Long list of possible attendees for next Cup
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Thursday, April 01 2010 @ 09:39 am ACDT

I tend to agree with Chris on this one - for the time being it needs to be an all-comers event. At this stage in development, where everyone's more or less on a developmental level, you need events that can bring everyone together to make contacts, cross-pollination of ideas etc, so I wouldn't knock any countries back by holding qualifying matches.

However, obviously at some stage there needs to be a seeding/divisional system, preferably starting with the 2011 Cup.

Long list of possible attendees for next Cup
Authored by: WFN Administrator on Thursday, April 01 2010 @ 09:44 am ACDT

Note: The original article was missing Italy - the AFL Italia has been developing quickly and have also stated an interest in being at the IC11.

The Azzurris could certainly count on plenty of local interest from Melbourne's huge Italian community, so here's hoping!

Long list of possible attendees for next Cup
Authored by: Brett Northey on Thursday, April 01 2010 @ 11:06 am ACDT

Yes, apologies for leaving off Italy - I was reminded to include them and then forgot. It would be great to see them in Australia, as noted, it would add huge local interest given the massive Italian community in Australia.

I agree with Chris and Aaron - everyone should be welcome. And I think that is the AFL's attitude - it's that one chance every 3 years to get the whole community together and make all the connections as Aaron outlined.

But yes, it makes separate divisions vital. Teams like India and China took their big losses on the chin, but privately it was tough to take, and doesn't really encourage players to keep going. The AFL intended 2 divs last time, but circumstances pushed them to combine everyone.

I think they should settle on a premier division early on, allocate say 8 to 12 spots, and then organise the rest as division two. An issue has been reliability, with some teams pulling out late. This way they would know they will have all spots filled - if someone drops out then promote a team from div 2.

An argument in the past has been the teams want to be there with a chance to win the big prize, but surely by now the gap from top to bottom is acknowledged to be so wide and teams really don't benefit from 200 point losses. Particularly if there were multiple such losses.

Chris mentioned the US Nationals. I've seen plenty of US clubs proudly declaring they have won Division 2 or 3. So there is still pride and promotion to be had from winning a second division. I think I suggested the following last time - I think it would be useful to give names to the divisions, such as Premier Division and Developing Nations. Or International Cup (in keeping with past winners) and Developing Nations Cup. That opens the door to promotion and relegation - perhaps 11th and 12th are vulnerable to being replaced in 2014 by the grand finalists of the Developing Nations Cup. At some point, without an officially recognised ranking system, this will be necessary. (We are still working on our unofficial ranking system, we should have some updates on implementation in the next week or so).

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

Long list of possible attendees for next Cup
Authored by: WFN Administrator on Thursday, April 01 2010 @ 10:06 am ACDT

Looks like the French are very keen, if you can read French - check out this link: La France s'inscrit à l'International Cup 2011.

If you can't read French - this is a rough translation.

It's official, France is a candidate to participate at the next edition of the International Cup, which will be held in Melbourne in September 2011. The project, essentially led by the new president of the CNFA (French national Australian football commission), will hope to realise the dream of all French footy players - to be able to play their favourite sport on an oval ground in the Antipodes. However, will France be competitive in a sport played 18-a-side, when the national players are used to playing 9-a-side on a rugby ground?

Allez les Bleus!

Long list of possible attendees for next Cup
Authored by: Cam Homes on Thursday, April 01 2010 @ 11:53 am ACDT

Have to agree with Chris if we do get all these nations coming to IC next year. Need a couple of divisions at least, three if 24 or more teams turn up. Really can't have repeats of NZ v India and SA v China match-ups as in IC 08. They are not good for the game or the contestants or the spectators. And our multicultural "aussie" spectators are very important if we want them coming along to barrack/root for or support their home nations teams. (Idea for the AFL to consider at IC 11 - every spectator gets a badge with their entry ticket saying "I was at IC 11" or something similar) (Those little tin badges cost bugger all to make).
Seeding of teams would be vital as far as I'm concerned. That should be quite a bit simpler, if we can get the Ranking Scheme I have suggested and Brett and I are working on up and running, AND, we are able to add the upcoming European and Pacific Championship results to it. A much clearer picture of the respective nations current strength would be possible and divisions of more equal strength set up.
SO, more comments from the International Leagues about the Ranking scheme so we can better tweek it as we go thru the year, please.

Long list of possible attendees for next Cup
Authored by: smusic on Thursday, April 01 2010 @ 12:11 pm ACDT

I really do NOT know what is holding the AFL back on a World Cup of Aussie Rules. There are now over two dozen players JUST on AFL lists from other countries and these should be allowed to play for those countries in the IC. Lets forget the International Rules - it was good for a development but we are ready for the real thing. The All-Australian team should play a World 18 THIS year at Aussie Rules. What has to happen to make this happen Brett? And IF there are teams from overseas wanting to get a team (squad minimum of 25) to Oz for the 2011 IC why not give them some $$$ to do so. Lets not have a repeat of 2005 when Denmark, who had attended, and been competitive at, EVERY cup previously were not able to get here for the sake of $10,000, which Andrew D likely spends on coffee each month. You can put together a VERY competative team for the world 18 starting with Mal Michael (who is still playing) Harry O'Brien and Tadg Kennelly on the back line. And even IF they were beaten 200 points to 20, Rugby still have Fiji and Samoa play Australia only to get blown away, it STILL promotes their game. Lets make it happen guys!!! And SURELY there are at least 12 guys in Australia whose parents were born in Italy who play Aussie Rules who could play for Italy in 2011 in needed. Just make SOME allowances to make it happen!!

Long list of possible attendees for next Cup
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Thursday, April 01 2010 @ 03:22 pm ACDT

Hi smusic - good to see a new voice on here beyond the usual suspects.

We've got two separate issues here. The first is the $$$, which has been discussed a lot over the years. Obviously, some of the sides had more AFL cash put into getting them to Melbourne than others, and this has created plenty of debate.

The second is the idea of the World 18. I reckon there's a good chance it will happen, but not for a few years yet. The World 18 at this year's underage championships is the first step towards this. But for it to happen at a senior level, and to be taken seriously by the Australian media, you'd have to have at least two dozen, probably thirty or forty eligible players in the AFL. At the moment, you've got a few Irishmen on senior lists, then rookie-listed players from Canada, the US, and South Africa.

Regarding your side note about International Rules, I agree that it has a limited shelf life, but it'll be there as long as the AFL don't have any other way for the All-Australian team to play matches, and it's going to be a long time before you could put a competitive World 18 on the pitch who could take it to the Aussies.

Long list of possible attendees for next Cup
Authored by: Cam Homes on Thursday, April 01 2010 @ 05:22 pm ACDT

G'day smusic.
I watched an Australia 'A' v Fiji in Melbourne a couple of years ago and the Fijians were even creamed by Aussie 2nds. I went because I happened to be in town at the time with nothing much else to do. I quite enjoyed it, but, probably because from where I come from Rugby is non existent. The crowd( not that big either) was mainly Fijians I reckon and a few Vics who play union having a chance to see a better standard that they would normally come across. By the end of the match most of the spectators were at the bar and didn't have a clue of the final score other than Fiji got a belting. Not a good advertisement for the code in Melbourne. So NO to games where the scores might be 200 to 20. AFL v World 18 is a long way off. We have far too many Aussie "Footy Supporters" who believe no money at all be spent on International Footy promotion. I still reckon that much of the interest displayed by many AFL Clubs and hierachy is because the players they might get don't "cost" like an Aussie player does. What was Sydney's transfer payments to the Irish League for Kenneally by the way? I'm am truly a cynic as far as the AFL's motives for the recent interest in International Footy. If some of these PNG players that are on the cusp of playing AFL do get a game is there any transfer fees payable to their old PNG club? I see PNG being bled dry of all their talent just like Tasmania was screwed by the old VFL if we're not careful.
Chris and Aaron are more realistic in what is possible and desirable for the promotion of our great game world wide at the moment. Several divisions at the next IC if numbers demand it and relegation and promotion a possiblity(even tho that is the practice in that other game) and making sure that there are no repeats of 200 to zilch matches.

Long list of possible attendees for next Cup
Authored by: Brett Northey on Thursday, April 01 2010 @ 08:14 pm ACDT

Yeah, Aaron and Cam are on the money in terms of World 18s etc.

In terms of "the sake of $10000", it costs more like AUD$150k to get a squad down for the nearly 2 weeks. $10k won't make a difference to whether they attend or not, in my opinion. And Denmark also had a lot of player availability issues (injury and work commitments etc) which I think affected their 2005 decision.

To have a major impact on whether a team can make it or not, the AFL would probably have to be putting in $50k. And if they do that for 24 teams that's over $1 million. Plus running the tournament etc.

Don't get me wrong, teams would certainly appreciate $10k or $20k. And $1 million in theory is not a huge ask every 3 years, although note that would be on top of a budget that would already be (I suspect) over $1 million per year on international development.

I know this gets a bit tired as I've said it often before, but in my opinion the steady ramping up of international support has to bring the Australian public opinion and AFL clubs with it. If the AFL Game Development could simply choose to spend an extra million with no backlash from other stakeholders then I think they would probably do it. I think they're moving in the right direction, but have to tread with a certain degree of caution and pragmatism. And yes, the possibility of draftees for AFL clubs makes it a much easier sell

As for a World Cup, as Aaron said, you'd be looking at a few more years yet before they could be even remotely competitive with an All-Australian side. Realistically I think we could hope that in 10 years there will be 30 fully productive AFL players generated from outside Australia, plus probably 100 scholarship and rookie listed internationals. So perhaps in 15 years there could be a reasonably competitive match. We're all keen for it and impatient, but there's no point putting on a farce.

I know in Rugby people still turn up to see the minnows play if it's a World Cup, but that is part of a wider tournament building up to finals where there are still several genuine contenders. We're just not there yet.

But as I said in the article, I'd like to see the AFL take some small steps down the path, by examining fielding an All-Australian amateur Under 18 side. The concept should be tested first - I'd love to see PNG's best squad versus an All-Australian amateur Under 18 team. If it's competitive then consider putting that kind of team into IC2011. I suspect this won't be seriously considered though.

PNG's "emerging talent" team did very well in the Cairns pre-season comp, and were keen to run their full side against a best-of-Cairns. If we start to see PNG winning games like that then the call for Australia to field some kind of team will get louder. Although we then run into the issue that PNG's best dozen players will soon (next few years) be semi-pro or pro, and so likely to be unavailable for the International Cup as it is currently played, during the Australian season (for most Aussie leagues).

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

Long list of possible attendees for next Cup
Authored by: Cam Homes on Thursday, April 01 2010 @ 10:29 pm ACDT

Cam again
Talking money to get players to Aussie for IC 11 smusic. I reckon $10000 would get 4 players, (IF they could get a really good deal and use up a lot of Frequent Flyer points in the process) from Europe and back. My wife and daughter travelled to Spain and Prague end of last year and their fares were in the thousands. My wife used up lots of frequent flyer points and my daughter is in the travel industry and was able to get some 'mates rates' I think they're called.
Again it comes back to money and the public perception of the tournament, There are thousands of diehard footy followers out there who even now if asked who won the last IC cup answer "The What?" I don't know what the attendance figures for the various IC's were but I'd bet that there are footy matches in the 'burbs and larger country towns around Aussie that get better crowds. And I'm not trying to disparage the IC concept here as it is as much (if not more) about international participation as getting sceptical Aussies along to watch. Tho I think the AFL could do a lot more to promote it to get a few more spectators thru the gates. They have got a lot better as each IC come along. The IC's are the best that is possible at this stage of the development of footy around the world and we have to run with it even tho there might be some dropped marks and Kicks out of bounds at the moment.

Long list of possible attendees for next Cup
Authored by: Erik on Tuesday, April 06 2010 @ 11:13 pm ACST

Hi all,
Just wanted to give you a few facts. My back ground is in DAFL (Denmark) and I participated in IC02, build up to 05 and again in 08. In 2002 every Danish player paid more than 2000 AUD out of own pocket to get there. Same pic in 05. In 08 we changed plans a tad looking for smaller, personal sponsorship of around 500 AUD. This helped some players getting there for free and some ended up paying roughly 2000 AUD out of own pocket again.

The Denmark drop out in 05 was a mixed bag of reasons. 1) The curiosity from 2002 was gone as most players were the same from the 2002 campaign. 2) Injuries took out a few players too (including myself). 3) Not everyone was ready / had the funds to pay 2000 AUD again.

A thing that some players have a hard time understanding is the big difference in how each country is being treated by the AFL. Heavy investments have been made in SA and PNG with obvious results to follow. One could argue that UK, Denmark etc have had their chance earlier on. But I disagree on that one.
As long as the AFL is a money maker they will always treat the various countries differently according to where they see growth potential. It might stuff up the even competition - I don't know. But it might also make some countries / players to reconsider their engagement in future IC tournaments.

Anyways, just a few facts and my few cents.


Honey?? Pass me that muffin will you?

Long list of possible attendees for next Cup
Authored by: Brett Northey on Thursday, April 08 2010 @ 09:39 pm ACST

Hi Erik,

Yeah there is no question that funding is very uneven and this plays a big role in how quickly different nations are developing.

It's an interesting question - should the AFL have a set international budget and distribute it evenly across all affiliated leagues, or should it target specific programs it thinks will have the largest benefits? Would an even spread result in small progress in a lot of places but no real major success anywhere?

I suspect they do need to target specific areas, but I sympathise that such a policy looks very unfair for all the other countries getting much less.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

Long list of possible attendees for next Cup
Authored by: Cam Homes on Thursday, April 08 2010 @ 09:41 pm ACST

G'day Vildmand.
You are so right about personal cost in attending the previous IC's and the AFL's investment in SA and PNG at the present. AFL teams see possible 'cheap' draftees coming from those countries in the very near future so its OK for the AFL to spend on development in those countries. As for the UK and Denmark missing out, the AFL thinking was pretty much, UK, just broken down or 2nd rate Aussies not able to make it in Aussie anyway, and Denmark 'Hell! can they even speak English? and no upbringing in the sport so nobody with any potential so why bother.

Long list of possible attendees for next Cup
Authored by: Brett Northey on Friday, April 09 2010 @ 02:29 pm ACST

I should probably make the distinction here between personal comments by Cam, who has been working with us on the unofficial World Rankings, and any "official comment" from worldfootynews.com

Because although we sympathise with countries in the disparity in funding, and yes money does tend to go toward areas more likely to yield future draft options, I doubt any of our editorial staff agree with Cam's comments towards the end of his last post where he infers what the AFL's opinion is. And no, I'm not trying to "cover" ourselves - there's a clear distinction between personal opinions of occasional contributors (and who are welcome to speculate) and what the regular editorial group think, based on our day to day dealing with the Leagues and the AFL.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

Long list of possible attendees for next Cup
Authored by: Rob Fielder on Tuesday, July 13 2010 @ 07:47 pm ACST

It is slightly disappointing with the development disparity. However, Peter Romaniw is now in London and already attended the Brit cup. This is a golden development opportunity for Europe to work with Peter. Britain has huge potential. This is mainly because we've grown up with both Soccer and Rugby. Aussie Rules compliments both sports and doesn't clash due to fixtures over the summer. 90% of the children I've worked with in South West England love the freedom of the game and keep asking about matches etc, which at this stage with volunteers we cannot provide. Yet!

Long list of possible attendees for next Cup
Authored by: Brett Northey on Wednesday, July 14 2010 @ 10:51 am ACST

Hi Rob,

Great to hear your thoughts. There hasn't been much media on Peter and the EAFA as yet, we're hoping to have something soon. I'm hoping to hear that things are progressing but I don't know the answer yet. Obviously you'd have a much better idea and your thoughts are welcome.


Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN