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The first AFL match for premiership points in China

Port Adelaide and the Gold Coast will play a home and away match in Shanghai next year, the AFL confirmed today.
The game will be played on May 14 at Jiangwan Stadium and will be broadcast live into Australia on Channel 7 and on CCTV throughout China.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan confirmed the fixture alongside the chariman of both clubs, David Koch and Tony Cochrane.
“We are proud that Australian Football will play a bigger role in deepening the historic connections between Australia and The People’s Republic of China,” McLachlan said.
“We believe we have the most exciting and athletic game in the world, and the chance to showcase our game in China is too good an opportunity to pass up.
Our game exists in a global sporting market place, and this event is part of our broader strategy to reach into new markets, both inside Australia, and across our region.
“We have one million people of Chinese origin living in Australia, we have many students who chose Australia to live and study, and Chinese tourists are our number one visitors here, so reaching out to this community both here and abroad is critical for us as a game.”
Cochrane, who prematurely announced the Suns would be the Power’s opponents in Shanghai earlier this year said his club is proud to be part of a “historical moment”.
“We are extremely proud to be selected to play in the first ever AFL Toyota Premiership match in China,” Cochrane said.
“This is a historical moment for our game and we are excited by the opportunity that awaits, not only in China but also for us on the Gold Coast.
China is the number one international tourism market for the city of the Gold Coast, and increasingly both China and the Gold Coast enjoy a strong tourism and business relationship.
“We have strong links to the region through our long-term partner, Huawei, and with the direct exposure this will generate for the city, we look forward to growing our football club and our business relationship with our friends in China.”
Port Adelaide chairman David Koch said the game will be a landmark moment in selling Australia’s game to an international audience.
“This is a moment many people thought would never happen, let alone as soon as 2017,” said Koch said.
“This is so much more significant that just playing a game for premiership points on foreign soil. This is a landmark moment in the development of Australia’s sporting, cultural, political, economic and tourism ties with China.
“The appetite for AFL football in China is even stronger than we could have imagined when Port Adelaide began forging relationships there.”
Both Port Adelaide and Gold Coast are offering travel packages to the game to club members and supporters.

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