The City of Melbourne is tuning Chinese with reports that AusAid, the AFL and the City of Melbourne have dispatched an ALF ambassador to China.
Herald-Sun:AFL’s punt into China by MATTHEW SCHULZ 05feb06
It seams everything John So does is orientated to one country with Melbourne’s other sister cities missing out – will they have a team in the “Chinese province” of Tibet (I apologize now to the Tibetans no offence intended – I still remember well the Dali-Lama’s visit to Melbourne and my good friend Helen who helped organise his visit.)
I am all in favour of taking the great game international – IFL (Provided it produces results)
If the AFL is serious then it should consider, while the price is low, setting up a league in Russia/Ukraine.
Ukraine and Russia would the ideal place for our winter game. When I was in Poltava, Ukraine, I met up with a young sports journalist there and we got talking about Australia and AFL Football. The Grand Final was not too far off and I suggested he do a bit of research into the game. Whilst “chewing the salo” it turns out Football (alias soccer) in Ukraine is huge and there is real scope for Aussie rules also.
The owner of the Donetsk Football team loves Australia. He even has a green Kangaroo outside his club Domino in Donetsk. (I got into a little bit of trouble with a security guard as I was hugging this Kangaroo for a photo opportunity – but being the only Australian around for miles I got away with it.)
Seriously an AFL footy team would go down well in Ukraine/Russia. I can even think of a few names to get the ball flying.
Kiev Slavs, St Petersburg Saints, Moscow Demons, Siberian Tigers, Vladivostok Dogs, Odessa Dockers, Lviv Lyons, Crimean Cossacks
They already have the sports venues/stadiums (Some I think are big enough to hold an real footy Oval).
If the AFL are interested two million dollars over two years should help develop the game and`build up a good size league and team supporter base. Additional local sponsorship could help fund it from there. Money well spent. I am waiting their call