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2020 AFL International Cup update

  • Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 08:42 am ACST
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The 2020 AFL International Cup (or IC20) tournament location is expected to be released in early September. The AFL is considering bids from inside and outside Victoria and is believed to have narrowed this to a final two.

With considerations of fixturing the IC20 finals at the best possible venue (IC17 Men’s final was played at the MCG and the Women’s at Etihad Stadium) as an AFL curtain raiser the tournament dates cannot be finalised until the venue is decided and the 2020 AFL Fixture is released in late October.  


While the tournament makeup is expected to be similar to IC17 a few minor tweaks have been made. One of these is eligibility of the number of players that are currently playing in Australia included in any team’s squad.

Team squads can have a maximum of 28 players. Of these 28 players, a maximum of eight can be playing in Australia during the 2020 season leading up to the competition. This number was previously twelve. Of those eight, no more than three can have been playing in Australian competitions for more than five consecutive years (including the 2020 season).

These rules are in place to ensure the tournament remains a competition that supports the growth and the development of the sport in each country that it is played and provides a strong incentive for players playing in the competitions outside Australia to represent their country.


Individual qualification for the tournament (as long as the players are within the eight player quota and 3 player sub quota mentioned above), will remain unchanged from previous years as per the following criteria.

• The player was predominantly resident in the country of the League between 10 and 16 years,
• the player is a citizen of the country of the League at the time when the Competition is conducted,
• the Player is not under suspension in that Player’s local competition during the period of the Competition.

While players are expected to be playing for their nations as amateurs during the tournament, they may be playing as professional or semi-professional players outside the tournament. Therefore, theoretically Mason Cox could represent the USA Revolution, but in reality, his contract with the Collingwood Football Club would likely prevent this.

Similarly, Cora Staunton could represent Ireland if allowed under her GWS contract, but in all likelihood she will be busy playing Gaelic football in Ireland.


The tournament is expected to once again have two men’s divisions and one women’s division. Ranking of men’s teams in regard to whether they play in Division 1 or Division 2 likely determined from previous International Cup along with other international competitions.

The total number of men’s teams in the competition is likely to be capped at 16 (8 per division) with a number of factors considered to determine which teams make the final cut should more teams want to enter than is set within the cap.

The women’s competition will also likely consist of one division with a set fixture plus finals, this is also likely to be capped at 8 teams. The final makeup of teams will be interesting as in recent months it has looked likely that both NZ and Germany intend to send teams.

The capping of the Divisions should hopefully make the fixturing and scheduling of tournament matches being finalised much earlier than they were in 2017.

We look forward to the upcoming venue and dates being announced as players from around the world are busy training and playing their way into their national teams.