Nobody could have predicted, even as recently as the AFL Middle East grand final just a few weeks ago, that the football world would come to a premature end, along with many other aspects of daily life, due to the spread of COVID-19. Not only has the live footy - at grounds or on television - been put on hold, but so has the simple kick in a park or even a neighbour's yard.
People across the world are missing their sport.
But that doesn't mean that there aren't stories to be told and shared. Our worldwide footy community, whilst in an enforced hibernation, still craves stories. Reading about the exploits of others might just be a handy, temporary antidote for feelings of loss, loneliness, confusion, despair or just to scratch that niggling itch.
World Footy News invites all leagues, clubs or individuals to tell us their stories and we will put together articles to be shared across the international footy community. Anything at all with a footy link can be sent - serious or funny, informative or just plainly bizarre - as long as footy is at its heart.
An article surfaced last week which revisited the years Karmichael Hunt spent with the Gold Coast Suns. It was an era when glitz and glamour reappeared in a strange way – almost akin to the Geoffrey Edelsten days at the Sydney Swans – when the Gold Coast Suns announced Karmichael Hunt as their cross-coding marquee player and the GWS Giants joined the party with Israel Folau.
In an article that is sure to reignite the argument of which code is tougher – Australian Rules footy or Rugby League – the Fox Footy article saw Hunt in a reflective mood about many things.
As for his decision, Hunt is quoted as saying, “the switch from rugby league to AFL delivered “everything I asked for” – but revealing it left him “pretty broken” physically.” That is a big statement coming after his time with the Brisbane Broncos in a code described by many as the toughest of them all (Rugby League).
AFL Europe has announced that the 2020 Euro Cup, set for Stirling in Scotland, has been postponed to a date later in 2020. This is pending the ongoing advice on the progress of COVID-19. A new date is yet to be set, though the Scottish city of Stirling cannot accommodate a new date.
AFL Europe is currently looking at other options across Europe to host the postponed event. AFL Scotland has been told that they will now host the 2010 Euro Cup instead. According to AFL Europe, “due to a lack of field and venue availability in Stirling in the second half of the year, AFL Europe will be sourcing an alternate location for the rescheduled 2020 event.”
“Given this, AFL Scotland has been automatically granted the rights to host the Euro Cup in Summer 2021”. It is yet to be determined if Stirling will be that venue.
It was the sort of meeting you read about, hear about or see in those emotionally engaging love story-type movies. It is the story of a brief encounter where love blossomed, then just as quickly is cruelly taken away.
America fell in love with Australian Football. It wasn’t a one-night stand. It was at least a weekend. In fact, the two knew each other with a small amount of fans and teams within leagues across the United States. However, last weekend, that simmering romance took off.
The two – AFL and American audiences – spent the weekend wining, dining, marvelling at each other’s attributes. They made plans to spend the rest of their lives together, going out each weekend – just the two of them (problematic, really) enjoying one weekend and looking forward to the next with quivering anticipation and, possibly, desire.
The AFLW season has been cancelled and AFL season has been postponed to May 31st, due to the coronavirus pandemic taking hold of the world.
And we all knew that the axe that has fell on sport globally was eventually going to fall on the AFLW and AFL.
It's disappointing that the AFLW season has come to an abrupt end, after such an exciting finals series and enthralling home and away season, but this coronavirus is bigger than sport and through these trying times globally we have to accept that there are more important things than sport right now.
The first week of the AFLW finals certainly delivered with four cracking matches and who would have thought they would be the last women's football matches in 2020.
The AFL today announced that it would immediately move to suspend the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership season at the conclusion of this weekend's matches and conclude the NAB AFL Women's season as a result of the continuing spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Today's match between West Coast Eagles and Melbourne will be the final match before the AFL season goes into a temporary halt with the suspension of all games until May 31, 2020.
The AFL will review the situation by the end of April to determine whether a further suspension period would be required.
Today's AFLW semi-final between Carlton and Brisbane Lions will be the last NAB AFL Women's match to be played with the 2020 season ending today. Given the twin conference structure and that the finals series was not completed, the AFL Commission has determined no premiership will be awarded for this season, following a recommendation from the AFL Executive.
Humanity is a resilient species. We adapt and find ways to move forward. Despite the current doom and gloom surrounding the coronavirus, we will again find a way to meet the challenges we are now facing as the pandemic spreads its reach.
It seems that the same might be said about aspects of Australian football.
Whilst the commentary from the three completed AFL matches to date has surrounded rule changes, some changes may be more profound over time. The shorter quarters have won the approval of fans, players, clubs and the media.
The sixteen-minute quarter is changing how players are managed across a game, leading to less fatigue and greater impact of players across four quarters. Essendon’s Dylan Shiel said as much when he said the shorter quarters suit his high running style of play. Others have chorused similar thoughts.
With yesterday’s announcement by the AFL to push this year’s International Cup forward to the same time in 2021, leagues and national teams across the world have been united in their positive acceptance of the decision.
Whilst there are many factors – seen and unseen – which will be impacted by the decision, the footy world has accepted the decision in a realistic and thoughtful way. The USAFL issued a statement to clubs on their website and Facebook page stating, “we support the decision from the AFL to push the Cup back a year and we know our USAFL Freedom and USA Revolution teams will be ready to go in 2021!”
AFL Asia also released details on their social media platforms, highlighting the new arrangements and adding, “that this decision has not been made lightly and that the AFL’s number one priority in postponing the AFL International Cup is the health and safety of the players, coaches and officials of all teams.”
The 2020 AFL International Cup will be postponed as a result of COVID-19, with the event to be re-scheduled for July / August 2021. THE AFL are working with Tourism Events Queensland and the Sunshine Coast Council to host the event on the Sunshine Coast in 2021 and we will share updates, including location and dates, once finalised.
The extreme global event has forced the AFL's hand on the matter. Their communications to international football bodies expressing their regret that "this decision has not been made lightly and that the AFL’s number one priority in postponing the AFL International Cup is the health and safety of the players, coaches and officials of all teams. "
The DC Aguilas have started their season in style in the third season of the Colombia AFL competition. On the first day of the new season, the Aguilas won both of their games against the Bogota Bullants and the Bogota Bombers. Following is the report from the Bogota Bulldogs on the opening round.
After a solid pre-season build up, with 2 full months of Saturday afternoon sessions under the watchful eye of footy department head Jimbob "Hamez" Karantzoulis, it was time for CAFL match day number one for 2020.
Bulldogs stalwart and former CAFL president Paddy Smallwood came up with an innovative new format of three 9-a-side games in the one afternoon in order to try and kill off all of the fossils still hanging around the club. It almost succeeded with Deano Wiltshire being the only pensioner to take the field on Saturday the 14th of March.
The following statement from the ASFL was released today regarding measures to cancel or postpone football events from grass roots football to the International Cup. This decision is in place to 31st May impacting early stages of preparation for event but not yet a full postponement or cancellation. It is expected a formal announcement from the AFL concerning the IC20 will follow. Note the list below which outlines which programs are impacted.
All AFL and AFL State association managed or operated leagues, along with all NAB AFL Auskick Centres, to be postponed until May 31, 2020
The AFL wishes to advise that following a series of meetings involving the AFL and all State and Territory CEOs, recommendations have been made in relation to community football leagues and programs across the country.