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This page is a quick snapshot of the status of Australian Football in Chile. For further information, browse our news items or use the search facility. If you wish to contact football officials from the country, please search our site for links to their leagues or clubs, including in our Atlas. If unsuccessful, we can normally assist with putting people in touch.

Approx population (2009):   Around 17 Million.

National side:   Saints (de facto - Santiago club side)

Governing body:   None as yet, the Santiago Saints are the nation's first club.

Primary contact / link:   Santiago Saints

WFN Census (2004):   approx. 20 adults

WFN World Ranking (2008):   not ranked

History:   Australian Rules football was first played in Chile in 2002, and was part of an experiment for the Alternative Sports Association based in Santiago to introduce new sports into the program in 2004.

A small league was planned in Santiago and the possibility of matches against an Argentine representative team was discussed, but these projects did not materialise and the sport went on hiatus.

The country's first organised club, the Santiago Saints, were founded in late 2007 and played their first match against Argentina in 2008. Continued recruitment of locals saw a Chile vs Anzacs match held in early 2009, the Anzacs consisting of the Saints' expatriate players and the Chilean team being all-local.

In June 2009, the Saints traveled to Rio de Janeiro for a match against a side of Australians resident in Brazil dubbed the 'Carnaval', the first ever match to be held on Brazilian soil.

Outlook (from 2009):   The Saints have been recruiting locals for the club and are investigating the possibility of a local league, possibly on a 9-a-side basis, with a long-term view to fielding a Chilean team at the 2011 International Cup.

Other points of interest:   Chilean-born Jose Romero played for Footscray (later the Western Bulldogs) in the AFL during the 1990s and was later employed as a multicultural development officer by the club.

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 23 2010 @ 05:58 pm ACDT| Hits: 4,809 View Printable Version