Contributed by: Brett Northey
It's unusual to see AFL Europe make the mainstream news in Australia but unfortunately it has done so in controversial circumstances which may have an impact on all international AFL affiliates.
The ABC has reported that the AFL-affiliated body has signed a sponsorship deal with Royal Brunei Airlines, including to fly players from Europe to Australia. Unfortunately the airline is state-owned and Brunei is the subject of a boycott campaign in response to harsh new laws that include the death penalty by stoning for gay sex and adultery.
The AFL has now stated that:
"These laws are counter to everything the AFL stands for in regards to inclusion and diversity".
"In conjunction with AFL Europe, we are currently reassessing the appropriateness of the sponsorship arrangement and also the broader issue of the AFL's oversight of potential sponsorship deals that are put to affiliate organisations overseas."
Although AFL Europe is an independent body the AFL will presumably have a strong influence on it through their financial support, despite that being relatively modest.
World Footy News