AFL Announces plans for international regional championships

Three events – the Asia Cup, Pacific Cup and Trans-Atlantic Cup – will be the first AFL-sanctioned international championships since 2017 and will each comprise open male and female divisions. The Pacific Cup will also include under 18 male and female divisions.

The AFL International Cup was first staged in 2002 and held every three years through to 2017. The 2020 event was cancelled because of the pandemic and last year the AFL announced that the 2023 edition would not be held as the game continued its recovery from two years of disruption. The focus shifted to the best and most appropriate way to get international competition going again in 2024.

AFL Executive General Manager Game Development, Rob Auld, said: “Holding international events where players from all over the world are given the opportunity to represent their country is an important part of the AFL’s commitment to supporting the game across the globe.

“These regional international competitions will bring the Australian rules football community from different regions together for the first time in six years, which is exciting for all players and officials involved.

“Holding the three regional championships in 2024 is an important step forward for Australian football internationally and all involved after all the challenges faced in recent years. The three-event program promises to be a special celebration of the game played in countries from each of the regions.”

What this means for NZ?

With the International Cup currently on hold, the Pacific Cup will provide the greatest opportunity to date for New Zealanders to represent their country on the international stage since 2017. New Zealand will be able to enter four teams into the Pacific Cup, Senior Men’s, Senior Women’s, Men’s U18’s and Women’s U18’s to compete against other pacific nations including rivals Papa New Guinea. Full details are yet to be released on the Pacific Cup but AFL New Zealand is excited about the prospect of new opportunities for all players based in New Zealand.

Pacific Cup
Date: November 2024
Host: TBC – in Australia
Invited nations: Fiji, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Vanuatu, South Africa

We will announce more details on the dates and the location as we receive them