Contributed by: Troy Thompson
The AFL has confirmed the dates and locations for the 2011 International Cup.
We previously reported that Melbourne and Sydney were likely, and Queensland venues were also a chance, though less likely. The AFL have now stated that Melbourne and Sydney are locked in, but there will be no Queensland matches.
IC11 Competition Manager Josh Vanderloo stated in a letter to competing nations that:
"After considering requests from participating countries who nominated along with the recently released 2011 AFL fixture, we have made some changes to the scheduling of the 2011 International Cup.
We are excited to confirm the tournament will be played in both Sydney and Melbourne from Friday August 12 through to Saturday August 27, 2011.
We are committed to building on IC08 and through some enhancements to the tournament designed to reflect our expanding international vision, we believe we can deliver a better overall experience for all participating nations.
To date, the response from the International football community has been outstanding with an estimated 24 countries likely to take part in this celebration of our great game. In addition, we can also confirm that IC11 will include a female division for the first time".
Sydney Aug 12 - 21
Melbourne Aug 22 - 27
The AFL will underwrite all internal transfer costs (including Sydney to Melbourne) for players and officials involved in the tournament (this will not extend to touring guests). As a result of this commitment, they will be seeking a commercial partnership agreement to support this undertaking and will therefore delay finalising the tour schedule until this has been secured. The AFL are also "working with potential sponsors to offer a 3 tiered accommodation option. We hope that this will suit the needs and budgets of all participating nations" with the aim of creating a tournament village in Sydney.
They will also hold a female division and will continue to take nominations from countries who would like to enter a team in this division.
Preliminary Planning Itinerary
Date Event Location
Friday Aug 12 Welcome evening Sydney
Sat Aug 13 Rd 1 - Blacktown Sydney
Sun Aug 14 Rd 1 - Blacktown Sydney
Mon Aug 15 Sydney
Tue Aug 16 Sydney
Wed Aug 17 Rd 2 - Blacktown Sydney
Thur Aug 18 Sydney
Fri Aug 19 Sydney
Sat Aug 20 Rd 3 - Blacktown Sydney
Sun Aug 21 Sydney v St Kilda (ANZ Stadium) Sydney
Mon Aug 22 Travel to Melbourne Syd/Melb
Tue Aug 23 Melbourne
Wed Aug 24 Rd 4 – Royal Park Melbourne
Thur Aug 25 Melbourne
Fri Aug 26 Finals Round – TBC Melbourne
Sat Aug 27 Grand Final Melbourne
Hawthorn v Western Bulldogs (MCG) Melbourne
Closing Ceremony Melbourne
The AFL has told the nations that they will endeavour to secure tickets to AFL games in both Sydney and Melbourne and play curtain raisers where possible. Additionally, they will aim to play the Grand Final on the MCG prior to the Hawthorn v Western Bulldogs match on August 27.
Official email confirmation from each country stating their commitment to participate in this competition based on the information above is required by the AFL by Friday December 9, 2010.
More details on the likely divisions later. Encouragingly, at this stage the AFL has said that no countries that expressed an initial interest have pulled out, meaning several first time countries remain possible contestants.
World Footy News