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Australian rules football in the Americas
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Australian rules football has been played at an organised amateur level in the United States and Canada since around 1990. There have also been clubs formed for occasional play in Bermuda, Brazil, Chile and Argentina.
Australian rules football has been played in Buenos Aires, Argentina since 1997, the Asociacion Argentina de Futbol Australiano as the de facto governing body.
Ricardo Acuna, having seen footage of the game in the 1990s, decided to start the game in Argentina and is now president of the Argentine Alternative Sports Association. The Argentine Australian Football Association (AAFAU) was founded and competition started in 1997 with a group of 3 teams consisting of about 30 or 40 mainly rugby union players. The league grew to four senior sides in Buenos Aires, with Under 19s sides associated with each senior team, and a growing number of juniors and school squads reported to be in creation. Serious competition began in 1999.
A 'Convicts Tour' of amateur footballer from Australia was planned in 2006 in an effort to see Argentina compete in the 2008 Australian Football International Cup, although this tour was later cancelled.
The first international match between Argentina and Chile was played in May 2008 in Buenos Aires, with the Santiago Saints winning.
Australian rules football has been played on the island of Bermuda since 2005, when the Bermuda Lions were created.
The island was to host the first Bermuda Australian Football Championships in 2007, featuring teams from Europe and North America in addition to local players. This tournament was later postponed indefinitely.
Australian Rules in Brazil began in 2009 with the creation of a side dubbed 'The Carnaval', composed mainly of Australians resident across the country.
The Carnaval were coordinated by Australian Trade Commissioner Greg Wallis, who took up the challenge of creating a Brazilian side for a match against Chile's Santiago Saints after meeting with Saints President Robert Spurr. The first match between the Saints and Carnaval took place in Rio de Janeiro on June 20, 2009. A match in Buenos Aires against the Argentine national team is planned for later in 2009.
Main article: Australian rules football in Canada
Australian rules football is played at an organised level in the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta. The Canadian national team has competed at all three Australian Football International Cups to date.
Australian rules is played a few times each year by expatriate Australians and Irishmen in the Cayman Islands. A number of Australians play in the local Gaelic football competition, and generally the Aussie Rules matches are held between the Australians and Irish on Anzac Day and St Patricks Day each year.
Australian rules football was first played in Chile in 2002, and was part of an experiment for the Alternative Sports Association based in Santiago to introduce new sports into the program in 2004. A small league was planned in Santiago and the possibility of matches against an Argentine representative team was discussed, but these projects did not materialise and the sport went on hiatus.
The country's first organised club, the Santiago Saints, were founded in late 2007 and played their first match against Argentina in 2008. Continued recruitment of locals saw a Chile vs Anzacs match held in early 2009, the Anzacs consisting of the Saints expatriate players and the Chilean team being all-local.
In June 2009, the Saints traveled to Rio de Janeiro for a match against a side of Australians resident in Brazil dubbed the 'Carnaval', the first ever match to be held on Brazilian soil.
United States of America
Main article: Australian rules football in the United States
The United States is home to one of the larger communities of Australian rules football clubs and leagues outside Australia, with around 2,000 players and 40 clubs nationwide. The governing body is the United States Australian Football League.
World Footy News - Footy enters Chilean Alternative Sports Scene
Asociacion Argentina De Futbol Australiano
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Australian rules football in the Americas