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9-a-side EU Cup to be held in London, October 9

  • Wednesday, September 14 2005 @ 11:29 pm ACST
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Europe Chiswick Rugby Club in London will host the inaugral EU Cup 9-a-side tournament on Sunday, October 9th, featuring a mixture of club sides and national squads from countries around Europe. The EU Cup is in some regards a continuation of the Central European AFL championships held previously - de facto national sides of developing Aussie Rules nations attending along with club sides from countries where the controlling body did not send an official squad. Currently slated to attend are sides from England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Holland, France, Austria, Belgium, Sweden and Spain - though early reports suggest the competition is likely to be a majority Australian-expat event.

The tournament has created some political friction within European footy circles, some leagues telling clubs their players are welcome to attend and even call themselves by their country's name, but are under no circumstances to claim to represent the country's national body. The English side is not in any official capacity connected with the BARFL, and as such is playing under the banner of the 'England Dragonslayers'.

Some sides in attendance will be the de facto national side, as is the case for Belgium and Austria, where the teams attending are the only Aussie Rules clubs in those countries. The French national side will comprise a selection picked from the only two clubs in France. Scotland will be represented by players from the Scottish ARFL, playing under the banner of the Scottish Puffins.

An official draw has been announced with ten sides included, but some suggestion has been made that at least two of these sides are in doubt, with confusion in the Spanish camp as to whether a team had actually been confirmed and no confirmation from the as yet unnamed Irish club side whether they will indeed attend.

If the EU Cup can be used for the strengthening of football in Europe, without political storms arising, then it would be hard to argue with its merits. The footy world hopes that this will be the case.