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Maroochydore to host 2024 Pacific Cup

  • Thursday, May 09 2024 @ 10:08 am ACST
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Oceania Four years on from the cancelled 2020 International Cup, Queensland will play host to Australian rules football with an international flavour when around 500 people representing teams from across the Pacific region descend on Maroochydore in November.

The AFL International Cup was first staged in 2002 and held every three years through to 2017. The 2020 event was cancelled because of the pandemic and then the AFL announced that the 2023 edition would not be held.

The AFL decided to split the event into three regional championships to be played this year – and the Pacific Cup along with the Transatlantic Cup (Canada, August) and the Asia Cup (location TBC, November) – is the resulting replacement for the beloved worldwide format.

The Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland, along with the Sunshine Coast Council, have partnered with the AFL and thrown their support behind the Pacific Cup, which is set to be a colourful and vibrant celebration of the game.

Maroochydore Multi Sports Complex, which boasts four full-size and floodlit Australian rules football ovals and is home to the Maroochydore Roos, will be where the action takes place from November 14-24, with the competition comprising male and female Open and Under 17 divisions.

Invited nations include Fiji, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Vanuatu, South Africa, Samoa and Solomon Islands, with the final list of participating countries to be confirmed.

Players will be picked based on performances in domestic competitions. Each team will manage their own selection processes, with AFL-mandated criteria being that each player must be a citizen of the country they are representing.

AFL Head of Participation and International, James Ceely, said: "The AFL is thrilled to confirm the location and dates for the 2024 Pacific Cup, which gives competing teams and their players and officials plenty to look forward to.

"The facilities at Maroochydore Sports Complex are first class and perfectly suited to hosting a large-scale international competition like the Pacific Cup, which will be a wonderful celebration and showcase of Australian rules football internationally.

"I would like to thank Tourism and Events Queensland and the Sunshine Coast Council for supporting the event and we look forward to working together to welcome hundreds of players, officials and their families from the Pacific region to beautiful South-East Queensland."

Queensland Minister for Tourism and Sport, Michael Healy, said: "It's terrific that the AFL 2024 Pacific Cup is heading to Maroochydore later this year, bringing hundreds of players and supporters to enjoy all of what this magnificent region has to offer.

"The Sunshine Coast is the perfect host destination for this event, with the Maroochydore Sports Complex boasting world-class facilities."

Sunshine Coast Council Division 7 Councillor Ted Hungerford said it was an exciting opportunity for the Sunshine Coast to be part of AFL's new international regional championships by hosting the Pacific Cup at the Maroochydore Multi Sports Complex.

"The popularity of the Sunshine Coast as a location for international standard events are a direct reflection of our quality facilities such as the Maroochydore Multi Sports Complex, but our beautiful climate and world-class beaches," Cr Hungerford said.

Sunshine Coast Council Division 8 Councillor Taylor Bunnag said the Sunshine Coast already played host to numerous AFL sporting events, competitions, and training opportunities throughout the course of each year, which provide great opportunities for young athletes to compete and develop their skills in a safe, welcoming environment.

"As a player and fan, I look forward to welcoming these rising AFL stars and their families to Maroochydore for the 11-day event, the Sunshine Coast is a great destination for high performance sports events and the AFL's decision to bring the Pacific Cup to the region is a reflection of this," Cr Bunnag said.

According to the AFL "The focus shifted to the best and most appropriate way to get international competition going again in 2024 and last year the AFL announced plans for three international regional championships this year."

2024 AFL International Regional Championships Program

Transatlantic Cup – Toronto, Canada (August 2-11)
Pacific Cup – Maroochydore, Queensland (November 14-24)
Asia Cup – Location TBC (November)