Contributed by: Wesley Hull
Ben McKay from AAP has reported on the www.afl.com.au website about the decision by the Gold Coast Suns not to return to China in 2019. The decision will be a hiccup in the AFL’s expansion plans into the Chinese markets, though there is plenty of time to find another suitor ready for next season. The original article can be found at: http://www.afl.com.au/news/2018-09-02/gold-coast-not-keen-on-a-return-to-china
GOLD Coast has walked away from future AFL matches in China after two years of playing Port Adelaide in Shanghai.
Suns chairman Tony Cochrane used the club's best and fairest awards night to declare the club's interest in the overseas venture over.
"The board have decided that to give the playing group every possible chance in the future that the trip is too onerous and too difficult," he said, reported by the Gold Coast Bulletin.
"(2018) was our last foray to China."
Gold Coast lost both of its clashes with the Power at Jiangwan Stadium, playing as the nominal home team.
This year, it also lost the next seven matches after returning from China, despite the aid of the bye immediately after its return.
The fixture has struggled to create enthusiasm in Shanghai, with lack of local engagement and poor attendance.
Cochrane also took aim at Port Adelaide for a spiteful clash between the two clubs in the lead-up to the first match, when Port asked the Suns not to wear their red and yellow home strip for fear of being more popular with locals.
"We have stepped away from repeating the trip again to China and we will leave the Port Adelaide chairman (David Koch) to argue with someone else about the colour of their jumper," he said.
It remains to be seen whether Port Adelaide will find another opponent to repeat the match in 2019.
(Image Credit: Sporting News)
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