The Fifth International Cup of Australian Football – at a footy ground near you this August….and you don’t need a barcode to go…

A story which will surprise those in love with the old clichés that the only interest in footy overseas comes from homesick expats…is the 5th International Cup, with big days at the Parkville ovals, a community round in the suburbs and the country and the final of the men’s comp at the MCG before the Hawthorn vs Geelong match. Clichés are sometimes truisms, sometimes simply false.


There are predictable stories (the ‘Anglo-Saxon’ and English-speaking countries – NZ, GB, Canada, USA, Ireland, Fiji, Tonga, Nauru) but also diverse ones from Finland (the Icebreakers), Sweden, China (the Dragons), Franc e (Les Coqs), Pakistan (comprised of local players), India (the Tigers), Japan, Indonesia (the Garudas) and South Africa and the powerful New Guinea Mosquitoes among the 18 countries represented..


And in the era of new border controls, there are no expat players playing. Documentation of citizenship is required. Once, at one earlier cup, a passport check was carried out at the request of one country (a great imperial power) before a match….


As always, in footy, there is an oddity, an idiosyncrasy. In the era of global sports migration, not to mention young travellers and workers moving  to more developed opportunities in search of work (and movement  from the high unemployment of Europe to Australia) many teams have several players, fellow nationals, who have been living, and playing, in Australia.

At Parkville and the MCG, it’s serious men’s and women’s footy, which the AFL has embraced after moments of hesitation back when it all began in 2002.


While footy won’t ever acquire a mass commercial profile internationally, I have argued in Australian Football The People’s Game that in a global century we need an international aspect, which mirrors the multicultural character of Australian society today.


The IC2014 is regularly reported on the website and on


The International Cup begins at the adjacent Ransford, McAllister and Western Ovals in Royal Park, (at Park St, Parkville near the Upfield line and the junction of Park St and Royal Parade)  on Sunday 10 August, and continues on Wednesday 13 August. A dispersed community round is played on Saturday 16 August. Then its back to Parkville HQ again on Monday-Wednesday 18-20 August, with finals on Friday  22 August, and then the Grand Final on 23 August – the men’s final at the MCG, the women’s final at Punt Rd.



Steve Alomes


* Disclosure:  Steve Alomes has umpired a practice match in Helsinki, been a goal umpire in Tokyo, and played briefly for Australia against Japan in the Japanese mountains.  He has also visited the footy-loving nationalist and internationalist Manning Clark in his study and he writes for worldfootynews.comand chairs the editorial committee of the French Australian Review. His book  Australian Football The People’s Game 1958-2058  ( a futurology of football as well as a study of the game today and how it has changed  since its first centenary in 1958.

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