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Monday, July 24 2017 @ 10:11 PM ACST

23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped

International Cup 2014

Twenty three teams are set to contest the 2014 International Cup men’s competition. Timor-Leste is the notable team missing for the initial acceptances for the tournament to be held in Melbourne in August.

New comers to the International Cup are Croatia, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Finland return to the International Cup after missing in 2011.

Others such as Spain, Germany, and Iceland look like missing yet again presumably to keep funds invested in their local development. And hopes that we would see our first South American team at the International Cup have faded as no teams have been nominated. It is not known if they had intended to play in the AFL 9’s section that was initially mooted.

The proposed AFL 9’s section has been scrapped as the overwhelming desire of countries was to field teams in the 18-a-side competition.

The competition will be launched at Federation Square in Melbourne on August 9th and conclude with the Grand Final on the MCG prior to the Round 22 Hawthorn v Geelong night match.

At previous International Cups there have been late withdrawals or additions to the attendees so keep an eye out for the final official list from the AFL in coming weeks.

The countries expected to be attending are as follows:-

 

IC14 - Men's
Canada
China
Croatia1
Denmark
Fiji
Finland2
France
GB
India
Indonesia1
Ireland
Japan
Nauru
NZ
Pakistan1
Peace Team
PNG
Solomon Islands1
South Africa
Sweden
Tonga
USA
Vanuatu1

1 - Debuting at the International Cup in 2014

2 - Returning to the International Cup after an absence.

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23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped | 28 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Brett Northey on Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 02:08 AM ACDT

Disappointing regarding some of the missing teams.  Personally, especially Timor Leste and Germany.  I thought the Germans were pretty keen this time.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Niels Schønnemann on Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 03:45 AM ACDT

The cost of going (paid by the players themselves in most cases = 2500-3000euro per players), the time spent (3 weeks) away from work or most of your holiday and the time spent planning and preparing this (as opposed to investing time in development work for your club - both before and after) is a HUGE strain on the leagues - and the general development often takes a step back that season and the next as many need a break after an intense year.

Remember the guys going are also the club and league presidents, VPs, coaches, captains, team leaders, so effort from these roles reduce significantly up to an IC and after. So no wonder particularly leagues with less than 200-300 players either dont attend or only attend every 2nd tournament. Most guys also feel that one tournament is enough and that means most countries need to find a whole new roster for the next IC.

From these 23 teams, I see a least a few dropping out - for the good of the game.

PS: I think the IC is a great tournament and have attended twice myself, but with the above in mind its still impressive the IC keeps growing.

23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Brett Northey on Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 06:26 AM ACDT

I think those reasons are good points and well appreciated Niels, although the theory of countries taking a hit the next season is possibly overstated... I think early on we saw a few cases of that such as Spain and accepted the phenomena as real but they were virtually a one club country and I wonder if it's been seen regularly since?  Happy to hear feedback.

I could understand it if countries came every second IC, and I'm in favour of it being every 4 years not 3.  But I do find it a little strange that Germany (assuming they remain out of IC14) will have never attended any of the ICs.  There must be veterans there now that look like going their whole career without a chance to go to the sport's pinnacle international tournament.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Niels Schønnemann on Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 01:55 PM ACDT

My experience comes from Denmark and to some extent Europe, so my views will reflect this. Based on this I rarely see anything else than either stagnation or less innovation. Its all about basic operations and getting through the season, so if you view that as a succesfull season, I see why you dont see the hit particularly smaller leagues take. But if we compare maintaining the club numbers one year and attending the IC vs not attending and growing by one club - I would say the ladder is the most succesfull.

Brett, out of curiosity, have you lived overseas and been involved directly on the ground with one of the leagues/countries organising and attending the IC?

23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Brett Northey on Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 09:47 PM ACDT

I sense a disapproving tone Niels.  Perhaps I'm too sensitive, but I will briefly defend my credentials even if they are different to say your own.

No I haven't lived overseas doing that work.  But I've spent a decade dedicating a large part of my "spare" time (that includes a chunk of what might otherwise be put to useful things like sleeping!) to running this website (which really should be a full time job) purely for the good of the international game (it's up to others whether they judge that successful but we know of the difference we've made in some areas), and a big chunk of that has been monitoring the health of leagues and talking to officials and exchanging ideas etc.  Happily the game has outgrown my ability to stay in touch with all the different countries and all the changing faces of officials etc.

So I readily acknowledge I don't know in detail what is happening in each area, hence I asked for feedback.  Although at the end of the day living in one or two areas doesn't give anyone a view to what's happening across the whole world.

What I've seen, from afar, is that often after an IC a league is relatively stable in the following year, which in many cases is all that would've happened anyway.  But on the upside some players become all the more passionate about the game, and feel part of a greater community, and go back with extra enthusiasm.

I think it really does depend on each individual person and each individual league.  But as I said, I too have long thought every 3 years is too much of a drain.  So I think we're on the same page.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Harley Vague on Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 11:20 PM ACDT

IMO it would not be too difficult to have a quad annual WC and quad annual IC interleaved every two years. Europe could hold a WC and invite the winners of the 49th Parallel Cup, SEAFL and Oceania with the AFL contributing to those select airfares. Could be a great promotion if held in conjuntion with an AFL exhibition game.

23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Cam Homes on Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 11:34 PM ACDT

Cost has and will continue to have a huge bearing on which nations will attend the IC's, regardless of where they are held.

Germany has chosen till now to give the IC's a miss but they have competed in both European Championships to date and also have played some other 'Internationals" in Europe so there are a number of guys who have played for their country. (tho' not at IC level)

The detrimental affect of spending up big to attend an IC nearly always bring the spotlight back on Spain and as someone suggested was due to the fact that it was very early in the formation of AFL Spain (read Madrid, a one club set up).

Probably the ideal situation would be to have the IC's every four years and a regional (as in European Championships) tournament (less costly travel wise) staggered half way in between. The smaller/poorer leagues/nations would be able to make the regional champs their focus for now. The hosts of these regional champs would benefit promotionally as well. Fiji takes a point with hosting under 16's I think. Oceania/South Pacific and Asian (possibly a North and South) Championships should be targets set by the AFL (world ruling body) for the near furure.

The GFC did not help a lot of countries (Croatia had wanted to attend IC11 but it seems cost killed off their attempt. (hope to see them here this time tho) Finland also went home winless after an IC and the inaugural Europe Champs so enthusiasm was hit for a six. Timor Leste (and Spain by the way) were winless (mind Timor Leste lost 2 games by only a goal) so enthusiasm got whacked again with them.

Heaps money spent for no wins :-(

Despite all the above its great to see Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Indonesia and Pakistan all put their hands up this year as well as Croatia, and good to see Finland having another crack at it. Best of luck to all of them. Just hope that the AFL (world ruling body) is giving them all as much assistance (eg. helping organising travel group concessions, accommodation ditto, etc) as possible.

Qantas looks like they need the customers, AFL use some clout here couldn't they :-)

If all 30 nations attend (guys and gals) that's about at least 2 jumbo jets full coming to Aussie.

23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Ian Hill on Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 02:15 PM ACDT

Have to agree with Niels on all counts and it certainly should be once every four years. I've been out of the loop for a few years but I would think that the net effect of the IC on some leagues would be negative. I would also like to see it held in Europe or North America one year. I can accept that just travelling to Australia with the chance to attend AFL games is a large part of the attraction for many international players, but it would be interesting to see the effect of the travel burden being reversed for some countries.

23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Jörg Pareigis on Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 05:37 PM ACDT

I also think that it is a big ask and am amazed how many dedicated players and officials we have. But if your assumptions are right Niels, shouldn't Germany be "outperforming" all other leagues in Europe by now by far and is that really the case?

And could it not be the case that the IC instead gathers a lot of people around a cause, spreading enthusiasm and creating publicity around the sport, which it would not have received otherwise?

23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Niels Schønnemann on Sunday, March 02 2014 @ 02:45 AM ACDT

@ Jörg - I agree it can be a common goal and it can be a good thing for some. The national teams in general is a good way of uniting leagues for a common pupose rather than the dividing nature of local competition. Regarding if Germany should be the rocket of growth in Europe by now, it would rather turn the argument around. Where would they be if they had attended? we know its a struggle for them to send full sides to the the Euro Champs. From an outsider, it seems they are making the right decision.

@ Brett - No dissaproving tone - have seen your work on here, but was curious if you had groundwork experience as well. An issue like this is always coming from what experiences you have seen or been around.

Having attended two ICs I like the idea and I agree with others that qualifiers are not whats needed, unless you wanted a higher quality at the IC. From my point of view, the AFL has the following agendas with the IC:

1. Promote to their main stakeholders, that their limited international ressources has been stretched far and wide - and its paying dividends.

2. Asses to themselves what progress they are making with their specific investments (we all know, that its not a fair competition, when certain countries gets their trip paid for/organised)

3. Learning from the attending countries about their challenges

4. The competition itself.

Regarding why the IC is held every 3 years, I think its obvious - from the above agenda, every 4 years makes for fewer cases of the above agenda, and only Europe has a proper local senior championship going, so most other countries only have this to look forward to as proper international competition, so they want as much as possible - and three years suits them. So from everyones perspectives (apart from Europes) every 3 years makes more sense.

23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Brett Northey on Sunday, March 02 2014 @ 08:39 AM ACDT

 @Niels - ok understood.

@Peter - good to see you haven't lost your passion for the 9s.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Harley Vague on Sunday, March 02 2014 @ 09:21 PM ACDT

Jarren, yes I'd already considered the fact that holding qualifiers could eliminate potential participants and I wasn't seriously proposing it for the IC atm moreover it was directed at lengthing the interval of the IC to four years and creating a WC in the middle. ATM we have the Euro Cup and with a bit of financial help for zone qualifiers you could create a WC. the IC is not going to change in a hurry. Coming to Australia is expensive but most participants see some value in coming to the "spiritual home" of football. If the IC became mobile, then there would be different countries that are travel winners and travel losers, approximating to no nett gain in participating countries, Some countries might drop out because they weren't travelling to the home of football.To balance that, IMO, atm, there is probably more promotional potential in an IC outside of Australia. So it makes sense to me to target the Euro Cup. Yes it requires some funding to bring qualifiers to a WC but it it is a loss less in amount and political fallout in trying to do something for all the IC teams. I mention the Euro Cup because they are becoming increasingly successful however it could be a world 9s tournament held every four years interleaved with the IC. The irony is, that because of the cost in travelling (to europe)you could invite Aussie teams to participate(and not be flooded with responses). Personally, I'd like to see IC matches played around Australia but this simple change would greatly increase costs in most cases. I believe it is incredibly important for Australians to make a noise about this event.not only to generate some financial underwriting but some emotional underwriting as well.

23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 01:51 AM ACDT

 Regards the IC being held in Europe or North America - I think the complicating factor with that is the Pacific, which the AFL obviously has a vested interest in developing as a player market.

If it was held in Europe, obviously you'd get more European sides (specifically looking at Germany, Iceland, Italy) taking part.  But countries like the Solomons, Vanuatu, Tonga, Indonesia, Nauru and Timor-Leste (even though they won't be at IC14), would be pretty unlikely to make it.

Pakistan and/or India definitely wouldn't make it if were held outside Australia, as they have made (or will make) up a big section of their squads from students living in Australia.

So even with the loss of 3-4 European sides, the net number of sides competing is probably still going to be higher if held in Australia.

I would agree with everyone else here that 3 years is too small an interval...  Should definitely go out to 4 (as was the original plan).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Brett Northey on Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 06:22 AM ACDT

I'm honestly not sure why they are sticking with 3 years.  I thought one argument made was not always clashing with Olympics or FIFA World Cup etc.  But let's face it, the reality is that although the IC has grown impressively in terms of countries attending, it hasn't grown dramatically in coverage in Australia or anywhere else, so I don't see that it's competing for attention or sponsors.

I'm not sure if the delegates from the countries have ever strongly pushed for 4 years or whether it's a non-negotiable from the AFL?

Still, back to Germany, obviously this wouldn't affect them anyway.  As to whether their league is kicking on and focussing on development, it seems they are making progress but not obviously faster than say France or a few other places.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Harley Vague on Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 08:24 PM ACDT

Understandably ATM we are measuring the success of the IC by number of teams that attend (because we are yet to broach crowds and ratings) etc. With the current situation of high costs to attend I think we may have to be open to innovation. One way to reduce costs and to increase participation is to play local qualifiers. Obviously most top division countries are regular players but many smaller countries struggle to justify the cost/benefit.of travel but could participate locally. This could apply to Europe, SE Asia and Oceania but be of no betterment to places like Asia of Africa. The result could be less teams attending but many more teams participating. Maybe this qualifying style structure is not terribly applicable to the IC but it could be usefull for other competitons.  

23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Michael Christiansen on Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 08:02 PM ACDT

3 years has always looked odd but on the positive side it has allowed the tournament to more rapidly reach the point now of it's 5th incarnation. That has been impressive but we need to be wary of just counting dots on maps and for whose benefit? The AFL is interested in talent potential as that's what clubs care about however the new digital age should see the AFL even more interested in international exposure and expats apart - for the AFL to achieve overnight the level of interest that the international grassroots growth of the game fostered now by the IC has achieved would come at a far greater cost than that that the AFL has had to carry. So I'd love to see the AFL invest back into the international game. The clear difference to say Rugby League is they have BOTH a North Hemisphere professional league and a Southern Hemisphere one. The AFL centred in Melbourne is too far removed from Europe in particular so that's an issue. The notion of regional Rep level is interesting and we've seen European rep sides take the paddock and I like that. Juniors wise we see Oceania feed into South Pacific and compete in Australia. I like that too. The individual national burden can be great so why not a 4 yearly IC with more inter and intra regional competition in between.

23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: sverik25 on Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 11:02 PM ACDT

Harley, to me the local qualifiers sounds like a pretty good idea. And I think every four years in odd numbered years say 2017, 2021, etc. would avoid most potential clash concerns - not that the IC is a large scale event by any means. I think it would be great if at the next European Championships they could get say 10-12 countries competing and consider a similar Pacific and also an Asian event. 

I am also surprised and a little disappointed about Germany, but I understand the costs and the time off required often make it too difficult. 

Let's hope that all of the countries who have put their name down can make it out and that this is the biggest and best IC yet. 

 

 

 

 

 

23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Jarren on Friday, February 28 2014 @ 10:16 PM ACDT

The problem with qualifiers is that it may result in countries willing and able to come not qualifying, which I cant see as a good thing at this stage.  Also, if a country like Germany decides it will not come, then would it play qualifiers?  Qualifiers reduce overall costs by keeping the number of participants down, but do nothing to help the teams that are coming (and by adding in qualifying games, may make it more expensive).

 

When the number of teams attending would be impractically large if everyone who wanted to come did, then you hold qualifiers, and if we got to that point, that would be great.  It would nean so many possible participants that the tournament was to big,  It is not a cost saving measure to participants and shouldnt be mooted on that basis.  It is a cost saving measure for organisers, but that should be low on the list of priorities at this point.

23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Brett Northey on Saturday, March 01 2014 @ 06:30 AM ACDT

All good points Jarren.  Qualifiers should be used if the IC is being used as a showcase event aiming at paying spectators etc and you want only the very best competing, but that's not what the IC is about.

As stated by others, go to 4 yearly and have local championships in-between.

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Peter Parry on Sunday, March 02 2014 @ 04:03 AM ACDT

 Pity to see the 9's not happening.

With the conversation about whether 3 or 4 yearly - and in the middle (i.e. the 2 yearly gap/alternate 4 yearly interval) run a 9's comp?  9's has a lot going for it for international development as often stated on WFN.  So next full 18-a-side IC in 2018 and run a 9's in 2016?

23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Jarren on Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 01:27 AM ACDT

Personally, I would be reluctant to see another big international competition until everything possible had been extracted from the IC concept.  This is still under recognised, discussed, televised, attended and promoted.  This year it has already started to get a bit of traction on Bigfooty, more so than other years, and it is still a long way of.  I am conscious of the fact that international bodies are entirely amateur and these events impose a big burden personally to attendants, and to the leagues.  I would prefer to keep and run with the IC, and let other more local events be developed by the various overseas organisations.  This on the basis that if they are setting it up, it is because they perceive the cost is both bearable, and worth it. 

 

 

23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Jarren on Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 11:59 AM ACDT

Noted that not only are the USAFL bringing a womens team (the Freedom), they are also bringing their womens development team (Liberty).  So while we are talking about the difficulties countries face, and wether 3 yearly is to often, the USAFL is bringing 50 female players.  Perhaps the view of those that actually play in it is that 3 yearly is not to ofton, because if it was 4 yearly, they may not get to attend as many?  It will be interesting to see how Liberty do against the Vic club teams they intend to play, as it is difficult to gauge how the womens national teams stack up against Australian teams.

23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Harley Vague on Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 09:25 PM ACDT

I don't see why anyone  would be reluctant to see another big international competition, in fact it might just be what we need. The IC is in Australia and is still attempting to get the traction that it deserves. A big football event in Europe might provide some balance and more effective promotion both locally and in Australia. A European event is not going to interupt the IC as the Euro cup is played yearly and growing all the time. To turn every fourth Euro Cup into a WC would probably only start out as a technicality but you might have one or both North American countries attending or the winner of the SEAFL of their own volition. With a little wishful thinking the AFL could fund the winner of an Oceania tournament to attend. This isn't changing the logistics of the IC or the Euro Cup except to possibly increase attendance and promotion. IMO the re is a lot more mileage and leverage to be gained by the host of an international football event overseas than in Australia. This is probably because the economic and emotional  impact of the IC is quickly dissipated in the large city of Melbourne whilst being quite meaningful elsewhere. You only have to look at some of the football (Australian) tournaments played around the world to realise there are some very good models already in existance.

 

23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Brett Northey on Saturday, June 21 2014 @ 05:50 PM ACST

So, 23 teams were originally hoping to make it, but we've heard of 3 not coming:

Croatia, Solomons, Peace Team

and there's now rumour of Denmark out (YET TO BE CONFIRMED)

So we'd be down to19. There were 18 in 2011.

It would not be a disaster to get about the same number, but always nice when the numbers are growing. As often debated, I wonder if 4 years would see more returning.

Hopefully we can provide an official update in the next week or so.

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Harley Vague on Sunday, June 22 2014 @ 02:23 AM ACST

On paper or logically every four years over every three years you would expect that the extra time would produce more participants . This isn't necessarily so. More time to raise money yes, but the cost and time are still large and I would imagine most players are the major contributors to their trip. So in four years you have more chance of personnel changes or other disruptions. Primarily the cost has to come down and the only short term solution is some funding. 25 countries @ $10,000 is $250,000. If you want to seriously promote the competition then that's what it would probably take. Then you could redeem some cost with sponsorship etc.

23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Cam Homes on Sunday, June 22 2014 @ 04:04 PM ACST

Sponsorship!!!!?????

The Euro Cup 9's has managed to get at least one sponsor (Axios) so far and for the next couple of years I believe. The 2013 event managed to get the "local council" on board as well and some other minor sponsors to kick in and the show was run at a profit from all accounts (size of profit was not ever published). They managed to have a crowd approaching 1500 at the final so I believe.

The Under 16's/18's comp is sponsored by the NAB Bank each year so it makes you wonder why the AFL (WRB) has not managed to sell naming rights or sponsorships for the IC's yet.

The IC's have been attracting people (players and officials) from well over a dozen different countries for several years now. Last time there must have been at least 600 to 700 visitors attending so where were these people staying and contributing to a 'local' economy who might then have kicked back some sponsorship to the comp.

23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Harley Vague on Sunday, June 22 2014 @ 06:38 PM ACST

That's right Cam. I am impressed by what the French did and the US with their championships as well.

23 teams set for IC14, AFL 9s scrapped
Authored by: Brett Northey on Tuesday, June 24 2014 @ 12:25 AM ACST

Our Oceania writer Mick confirms Vanuatu aren't going.

So that's 18 men's teams in the running.

Seeking official confirmation now.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN