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SBD Global/August 28, 2012/Franchises

Arena Football League Working On Expansion Into China, With A League By '14

A group fronted by ESPN Analyst Ron Jaworski was in Beijing on Monday to announce that the Arena Football League is "working on building a bridgehead in China," according to Dusty Lane of the CHINA DAILY. Jaworski said, "They will pick up on football very quickly. I watched the Olympics and watched those weightlifters, and I think I'd like to have some of those guys on my offensive line." The group will stage a series of exhibitions next fall, "then launch what it hopes" will be a six-team, 10-game schedule in October '14. Games will be held in the fall and winter "to allow AFL coaches and trainers the freedom to come to China during their offseason and teach their Chinese counterparts how to build teams on their own." The league will begin as a mix of Chinese and American players, "with the goal of converting to all-Chinese rosters as quickly as possible." AFL Philadelphia Soul co-Owner (with Jaworski) Marty Judge said, "Our goal is in China, for China. Former NFL Coach Dick Vermeil is also "backing the project" (CHINA DAILY, 8/27).
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