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AFL gets guarantees for footy to continue in soccer World Cup bid

  • Sunday, May 09 2010 @ 10:00 pm ACST
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General News The AFL today announced it had signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal Government guaranteeing the AFL season will continue, should Australia’s bid for the soccer World Cup be successful. AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou said he was pleased that all outstanding issues had been resolved and the AFL, along with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU), National Rugby League (NRL), Football Federation Australia (FFA) and the Federal Government, had all signed off on the binding agreement which ensures the bid lodged by Australia would be FIFA-compliant.

Mr Demetriou said the MOU recognised that it was fair and reasonable that other football codes continued to play their seasons should Australia win the soccer World Cup. He said the AFL has consistently supported Australia’s bid and the code had agreed to give up use of the MCG, Skilled Stadium at Geelong, Subiaco Oval, Gold Coast Stadium and Adelaide Oval during the World Cup. “We have consistently supported Australia’s bid for the World Cup as we have with other major sporting events.
We know it will cause serious dislocation of our AFL season, including up to 90 games that will need to be relocated and/or rescheduled, but we also accept that all codes need to make accommodations to ensure major events come to Australia.”

The MOU, agreed by the major codes, the FFA and the Federal Government, also outlines a future compensation formula for other codes, support for future development of all codes, and ensures the AFL will not be impacted by the Confederations Cup in the year before the soccer World Cup. Mr Demetriou thanked the Australian Government and Prime Minister, Mr Kevin Rudd and the Sports Minister, Ms Kate Ellis, for their support and also praised the work of the Federal Government-appointed taskforce for its work in resolving the outstanding issues around venues and continuity of season.

“The core issue for us was around continuity of our season during the soccer World Cup and we thank the taskforce and the Federal Government for helping to identify all the issues affecting the various codes and working together to find a suitable resolution.”

Mr Demetriou praised the efforts of AFL Chief Operating Officer Gillon McLachlan and AFL staff who worked with the Federal Government to resolve the outstanding issues. He also thanked the AFL clubs who backed the stance of seeking a guarantee AFL games would continue through the World Cup. “All matters are now resolved and we, like all Australians, will continue to throw our support behind Australia’s bid for the soccer World Cup.”