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This page is a quick snapshot of the status of Australian Football in Italy. 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): 60 million
National side: Italia Azzurri
Governing body: AFL Italia
Milano Aussie Rulers
Primary contact / link: AFL Italia
WFN Census (2004): N/A (founded 2009)
WFN World Ranking (2008): N/A
History: Australian rules football in Italy was first played in 2004 with an attempt to start a league based around the city of Naples, under the name Federazione Italiana di Football Australiano (FItAF). Four teams in Salerno, Naples, San Giorgio and Barra were created, but the league ultimately did not get off the ground.
The current AFL Italia was created in Milan in July 2009. This new group sent an all-Italian team to the EU Cup in Zagreb that year, the first appearance of Italy at that event. Late that year, the Italian national team played its first home game, a friendly against the Frankfurt Redbacks from Germany. Early 2010 also saw women's footy kick off in Milan.
On February 13th 2010, plans for an AFL Italia national league were unveiled, with four clubs in Rome, Milan, Genova and Lugano (Switzerland).
The AFL Italia has also discussed possibly sending a team to the 2011 International Cup.
Outlook (2010): The AFL Italia is still very new, but they have been ambitious so far, including a bid to host the 2010 EU Cup in Milan. The progress of the local league will be watched with interest by the rest of European footy community.
Other points of interest: The Italian community in Australia have been prolific contributors to Australian rules football, including such Italian-Australian champions as Ron Barassi, Stephen and Sergio Silvagni, Brendan Fevola, Tony Libretore and Robert DiPierdomenico to name just a fraction of the total number. In recognition of this, a VFL/AFL Italian Team of the Century was named in 2007.
Last Updated: Friday, April 29 2011 @ 07:46 PM ACST|Hits: 2,120