Contributed by: Brett Northey
33 men's and women's teams have been nominated for the 2011 Australian Football International Cup, to be staged in Sydney and Melbourne in August.
The long list of possible newcomers in the men's competition is Indonesia, Italy, France, Vanuatu, Iceland, Fiji, East Timor, Croatia, Switzerland and depending on definition, Tonga, which competed in the multi-cultural section in 2008. At this stage all previous competing nations have nominated, except Spain (2005).
For the first time there will be a women's tournament, possibly featuring Ireland, PNG, USA, Italy, Canada and a combined Multicultural & Indigenous team.
Read on for the full men's list.
The men's nominations (previous attendance in brackets) are:
|Nation||Previous ICs attended|
|1.||PNG||2002, 05, 08|
|2.||New Zealand||2002, 05, 08|
|3.||South Africa||2002, 05, 08|
|4.||Ireland||2002, 05, 08|
|6.||Canada||2002, 05, 08|
|7.||USA||2002, 05, 08|
|8.||Japan||2002, 05, 08|
|9.||Great Britain||2002, 05, 08|
|10.||Samoa||2002, 05, 08|
|12.||Tonga||2008 (not in main draw)|
|27.||Multicultural||(not in main draw)|
Until recently it was thought likely that the Netherlands and Austria were good chances, and Portugal had also expressed interest, although they were highly unlikely with no domestic games played yet. Spain has been fairly quiet on the international footy front although Catalonia may have been a dark horse to attend. Germany and the Czech Republic are two other European sides that would have given IC11 some serious thought.
It seems likely that somewhere between 2 to 8 of these sides will not make it to the starting line, which would still leave the AFL with a record attendance. Once sides are finalised we would expect the AFL to announce 2 or 3 divisions, to protect the newest footy nations from unfortunate losses to the top contenders.
The women's sides are as expected, with Ireland recently in action against Italy, the USA and Canada developing a rivalry, and PNG girls sides doing well in Queensland representative matches.
World Footy News