Contributed by: Troy Thompson Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 06:34 am ACST
The AFL this past weekend released the following statement confirming a further delay in the International Cup until 2024.
The AFL has decided to postpone the AFL International Cup scheduled for 2023, with planning underway for the next edition, targeting 2024.
Taking into account a number of factors, including the significant investment required from the AFL to host the event and with the ongoing financial impact on the AFL and AFLW competitions caused by the pandemic, it has been determined that the competition will be rescheduled.
The continuing uncertainty caused by COVID-19 on an international scale was also a consideration. There was a desire to make a public decision early to allow international teams ample time to plan and schedule for selections and travel, for the event in 2024.
The AFL will continue to work with international affiliates to help schedule and support international tournaments and programs throughout the next few years ahead of the next edition of the International Cup.
AFL Executive General Manager Game Development, Rob Auld, said: "The AFL International Cup is an important part of our commitment to growing and supporting the game across the globe.
"While there will no doubt be some disappointment that everyone involved has to wait, considering a range of factors it was the most appropriate option and hopefully gives affiliates and stakeholders clarity to plan and prepare.
"We look forward to welcoming international teams to Australia in 2024 for what we intend will be an event that appropriately celebrates the passion so many people and cultures have for our game internationally."
Next year's competition was set to take place on the Sunshine Coast and the AFL will continue discussions with the Sunshine Coast Regional Council and Tourism and Events Queensland on hosting the event in 2024.
The last AFL International Cup was held in 2017 and prior to that had been held every three years since 2005 [sic]. Following the 2017 event, the next scheduled competition in 2020 was called off due to the pandemic.
The AFL International Cup includes men's and women's teams from North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Pacific.