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SBD Global/May 10, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

AFL CEO Demetriou Says Aussie Rules Football Won't Become International Sport

Australian Football League CEO Andrew Demetriou admitted that "the code has no pretensions of becoming an international sport despite the initial success of their New Zealand venture," according to the AAP. Demetriou said that St. Kilda's three-year, five-game deal to host games in Wellington, which started with its Anzac Day clash against Sydney, "was a sign of things to come on the overseas front." But the aim "is to please clubs' multi-national sponsors and raise the value of the AFL's international television rights, not set the scene for a more substantial form of global expansion." Demetriou said, "We are unashamedly an indigenous code. We don't purport to be anything else" (AAP, 5/9).

In Sydney, Steve Mascord reported National Rugby League Melbourne Storm's CEO-in-waiting Mark Evans said that rugby league "does not have to fight tooth and nail with the AFL in Victoria and, instead, sport as a whole should be trying to attract people away from other leisure pursuits." Asked if he was ready to roll up his sleeves and battle AFL, Evans said, "No, I don't think so. I think it's about doing a good job yourself as a sport and competition. If you do that, nine times out of 10 people will come and watch" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 5/10).
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