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Government getting the message

  • Sunday, August 24 2008 @ 08:44 am ACST
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International Cup 2008

In a positive sign that the Australian Government is starting to see the potential economic benefits of promoting the Aussie code of football internationally, former Labor opposition leader and now Minister for Trade, Simon Crean, has talked up the opportunities in a foreward of the IC08 Record, available for download from the AFL's www.ic08.com.au website here. The Minister's comments follow.

Australian Football is a unique code taking on increased popularity around the world.

Proof of this is the fact that a record number of countries are participating in the third Australian Football International Cup, and on behalf of the Australian Government, I would like to welcome our visitors, including players, officials and guests accompanying them.

You arrive in the year that Australian Football celebrates its 150th anniversary, at a time when passion for the game is at an all-time high at home. Your matches in Australia will help to spread that ever-growing excitement even further in your home countries.

You also arrive amid growing awareness in Australia of the link between sport and trade. As Minister for Trade, I am particularly pleased with the AFL’s recent approach of using its sport as an effective conduit to assist Australian companies to engage with potential partners offshore.

The Government will continue to work with the AFL to achieve the best sporting business results for both Australian and international companies from your various countries.

To all players, officials and supporters involved, I say congratulations on being part of a wonderful event. Good luck, and may the best team win!