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SBD Global/April 23, 2013/International Football
A-League Popularity Soaring; FFA Boss Claims Football Overtaking Aussie Sport Codes
Published April 23, 2013
GALLOP SIT-DOWN: In Sydney, Dean Ritchie reported Gallop "made the shock revelation" that football had surpassed cricket in popularity. Gallop also warned rival codes. Gallop: "Football is only going to get bigger and bigger in this country. There is no doubt rival codes are already concerned about football." Gallop answered questions from Ritchie in a "candid sit-down interview."
Q: After decades in the doldrums, has football finally become a mainstream Australian sport?
Gallop: This has definitely been a breakthrough season for the A-League due to a number of factors.
Q: Should rival codes be concerned about football's growth?
Gallop: There is no doubt rival codes are already concerned about football. Football is the only game that can truly represent Australia in all its diversity and multiculturalism. Football is the only true international game. The base of the pyramid at 1.7 million participants is more than a threat, it's a reality for our opposition.
Q: Has the A-League swooped past cricket as Australia's No. 1 summer sport?
Gallop: In the 18-34 male demographic bracket, our research says we overtook cricket this summer. The importance of that age group is that these are young missionaries for the sport -- going to games, watching it on TV, buying replica shirts, talking about the game on social media. They are the future business leaders of the country and, indeed, are the future fathers of kids in Australia.
Q: Can football potentially go past rugby league in popularity?
Gallop: As the world gets smaller, football gets bigger. Football is only going to get bigger and bigger in this country.
Q: You didn't answer my question, David.
Gallop: The other codes are very well established but there's no doubt football has the biggest growth opportunity (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 4/23).