This page is a quick snapshot of the status of Australian Football in India. 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): 1.2 billion
National side: India Tigers
Governing body: AFL India
Primary contact / link: AFL India
WFN Census (2004): N/A
WFN World Ranking (2012): 19th
History: There have been a several attempts to establish Australian Football in India.
In 2006 ex-VFL footballer Brian Dixon undertook a "World Tour" promoting Australian Football. One of his stops was India, where he met Achintya Saha, who is heavily involved with grassroots sport in Kolkata, particularly Kabaddi. Dixon convinced Saha that Australian Football was worth developing in India.
Dixon’s initial efforts and the support of the AFL got an Indian side to the 2008 International Cup. Unfortunately upon the team’s return to India, Saha and his colleagues cut ties with the game.
By 2011 a new generation had taken up the cause under the name AFL India and convinced the AFL to support their journey to the 2011 International Cup, where they had the inaugural win. An alliance was formed with the Richmond Tigers, and through the efforts of Reclink Australia and Global Community Sports teams were established in India, culminating in the first ever local tournament, staged in Kerala in December 2012. AFL India intends registering the "Australian Rules Football Association in India" with the Indian government.
Outlook (2012): Once registration is approved, it is intended for programs to be established in several major Indian cities.
Other points of interest: An AFL exhibition match is a possibility for early 2011. Essendon Football Club has previously expressed interest in promoting the game in India.