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Thursday, February 20 2020 @ 11:47 am ACDT

2020 AFL International Cup update

The 2020 AFL International Cup (or IC20) tournament location is expected to be released in early September. The AFL is considering bids from inside and outside Victoria and is believed to have narrowed this to a final two.

With considerations of fixturing the IC20 finals at the best possible venue (IC17 Men’s final was played at the MCG and the Women’s at Etihad Stadium) as an AFL curtain raiser the tournament dates cannot be finalised until the venue is decided and the 2020 AFL Fixture is released in late October.  


While the tournament makeup is expected to be similar to IC17 a few minor tweaks have been made. One of these is eligibility of the number of players that are currently playing in Australia included in any team’s squad.

Team squads can have a maximum of 28 players. Of these 28 players, a maximum of eight can be playing in Australia during the 2020 season leading up to the competition. This number was previously twelve. Of those eight, no more than three can have been playing in Australian competitions for more than five consecutive years (including the 2020 season).

These rules are in place to ensure the tournament remains a competition that supports the growth and the development of the sport in each country that it is played and provides a strong incentive for players playing in the competitions outside Australia to represent their country.


Individual qualification for the tournament (as long as the players are within the eight player quota and 3 player sub quota mentioned above), will remain unchanged from previous years as per the following criteria.

• The player was predominantly resident in the country of the League between 10 and 16 years,
• the player is a citizen of the country of the League at the time when the Competition is conducted,
• the Player is not under suspension in that Player’s local competition during the period of the Competition.

While players are expected to be playing for their nations as amateurs during the tournament, they may be playing as professional or semi-professional players outside the tournament. Therefore, theoretically Mason Cox could represent the USA Revolution, but in reality, his contract with the Collingwood Football Club would likely prevent this.

Similarly, Cora Staunton could represent Ireland if allowed under her GWS contract, but in all likelihood she will be busy playing Gaelic football in Ireland.


The tournament is expected to once again have two men’s divisions and one women’s division. Ranking of men’s teams in regard to whether they play in Division 1 or Division 2 likely determined from previous International Cup along with other international competitions.

The total number of men’s teams in the competition is likely to be capped at 16 (8 per division) with a number of factors considered to determine which teams make the final cut should more teams want to enter than is set within the cap.

The women’s competition will also likely consist of one division with a set fixture plus finals, this is also likely to be capped at 8 teams. The final makeup of teams will be interesting as in recent months it has looked likely that both NZ and Germany intend to send teams.

The capping of the Divisions should hopefully make the fixturing and scheduling of tournament matches being finalised much earlier than they were in 2017.

We look forward to the upcoming venue and dates being announced as players from around the world are busy training and playing their way into their national teams.

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2020 AFL International Cup update | 5 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
2020 AFL International Cup update
Authored by: Harley Vague on Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 10:49 am ACST

Some interesting developments.
I find it a bit strange that playing in Australia should reduce your chances and that a professional in Australia can play. Surely the qualification should be based on playing in a country's league. I don't believe Mason Cox has played for the USAFL or any Irish players played for AFL Ireland so they shouldn't qualify until they do.
There is a great number of players coming out to Australia of their own volition to improve themselves. Why should they be penalised if they still play in their country's competition ?

2020 AFL International Cup update
Authored by: hopandsolo on Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 07:37 am ACST

I agree, certainly in Europe few leagues play on proper Ovals and 18 aside. Going to Oz especially in the year of the tournament shouldn't be penalised as training and playing club footy in Oz should only improve standards. Maybe the restriction shouldn't be there if you started playing footy outside Oz.

2020 AFL International Cup update
Authored by: Troy Thompson on Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 08:24 am ACST

It is a response to feedback from competing nations at the previous IC's and most involved in running these teams are all about development of the competitions at home even if this applies to them. This will not affect many teams. Also the ability for players to do this in Australia is not an even opportunity across the world with cost due to distance, available visas and relative wealth all influencing the numbers all able to do this.

AFL looking to provide a balance and still allow a certain number to be in Australia, but still make sure that the opportunities are there for those playing in their home nation.

I have previously suggested that playing a prescribed number of matches in your home nation in the period since the previous IC might be a qualification requirement. But no uptake on that idea so far.

2020 AFL International Cup update
Authored by: Cam Homes on Friday, August 30 2019 @ 11:45 am ACST

I suspect the change has been brought about because at the last couple of IC's there were a couple of teams that were almost all made up of players that had been living and playing in Aussie prior to the IC.

It is my understanding that at IC14 almost all the men's Pakistan team were this type of player. (Had trouble with visa's and/or raising funds for travelling players I think). I think also that at IC17 a pretty fair %age of the men's Shaheens were still Aussie based. Please correct me if I'm wrong here.
Also at IC17 approx half of the Sri Lankan team were Aussie based I believe. (Don't have a huge problem with that if it helps promote/develop Aussie Rules back in the home country when making IC Debut. Shouldn't let it continue tho' I reckon).

My worry is probably more about the proposed restriction of number of countries competing to 16. There have been 18 countries compete at the last 3 IC's, so there seems to be a problem saying to at least two potential contestants you can't come, and there not being an alternative "International" forum/competition for those countries to partake in.

Is it really a good idea to shut the gate on the potential participation from the likes of SE Asia-Indo China, (didn't quite make it last time) South America (Columbia/Chile team; almost have the numbers I believe, with a few Aussie based included), and South Pacific-Vanuatu/Solomon Islands (problem raising the funds to compete last time), Without alternative International options we should be encouraging and assisting more countries to compete at the IC not turning them away.

Just hope this idea is not followed thru.

Do I have any supporter's here?

2020 AFL International Cup update
Authored by: Harley Vague on Friday, August 30 2019 @ 05:34 pm ACST

I don't get it at all. I don't see why countries should be penalised for their players wanting to improve themselves as long as they play enough qulaifying games at home. (Forget pakistan that's a political furphy)
I don't get it at all to limit the number of teams. There are two options IMO.
1. A quality competition - which requires quality promotion, quality facilities and a stand-alone fixture. e.g. pre-finals bye.The problem is the gap in standard to attract AFL fan types to attend and of course the expenditure.Also, how do teams qualify and how do we not discriminate against fast-improving team ?. How do women's teams fit into all of this ?
2. As many countries as possible. With a multi-divisional stricture, men and women, new teams and new developments, I don't see the reason to change the formulae except to improve the overall product and fine tune costs etc.