AFL Explores Further Indian Growth
Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 08:42 am ACDT
Contributed by: Wesley Hull
The tremendous work of AFL India may be about to bring the sweetest fruit of all as the AFL considers options to take advantage of the tremendous football platform laid over recent years. The dedication of AFL India, and the uptake of the game across India, may be the “Perfect Storm” needed for the game to really take hold in a big way.
Nick Bowen from the www.afl.com.au website reports that the AFL are about to engage in further missions to explore the growth possibilities of the game in India, with matches at the highest level being slated again. This is on the back of recent stories from India which have looked at the growth of a local Mumbai-based competition (see Mumbai Footy Cup 2018), and a schools-based footy program in Mumbai (see School Kids Get Footy Lesson In India). Whilst these programs are outside of the AFL India umbrella, they also suggest that Mumbai is developing as the logical city to host an AFL match.
FOUR clubs are visiting India this week as the AFL edges closer to staging a game in the world's second most populous country.
AFL general manager of China and India David Stevenson will fly to India later this week on a fact-finding mission, and will be accompanied by officials from four clubs.
League CEO Gillon McLachlan preferred not to disclose the identity of those clubs at a pre-season briefing with reporters on Wednesday.
But Richmond and Greater Western Sydney have been pushing since last year to play a premiership game in Mumbai, while Essendon and Adelaide have also been investigating playing a pre-season or exhibition game on the subcontinent.
McLachlan said India was an enticing new market for the AFL, but was not sure how soon games could be fixtured there.
"China and India are huge migrant markets. India has facilities that are easy, so you've got population and the scale, you've got the economic growth and an appetite to follow sport," McLachlan said.
"There are potentially opportunities in India and they're being explored at the moment."
To read the rest of this article, including Gillon McLachlan’s additional comments about gam development in China, the original story can be found at: http://www.afl.com.au/news/2018-03-07/four-clubs-off-to-india-as-afl-eyes-staging-game