Tasmania kicks on with AFL bid - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tasmania kicks on with AFL bid

By Paul Carter 30/03/2009 07:39:08 PM Comments (0)

Mystery surrounds the AFL's official response to the Tasmanian government's bid to have an island team in the national competition.

The government's boisterous spruiking of the concept has given way to an uncharacteristic coyness.

The AFL is refusing to say what it told the politicians to do with their unsolicited bid.

However, Sport Minister Michelle O'Byrne believes the bid is not beaten.

The AFL wants more information so it can continue assessing the submission, she said.

"The state government is committed to doing all it can to assist the AFL in its consideration of Tasmania's arguments for an AFL licence, and we will provide further information to the AFL which it has requested," she said in a statement.

"We have always maintained that Tasmania has a compelling business case for its own AFL team.

"We welcome the fact that the AFL is continuing to assess our case against the criteria it believes is relevant to achieve a competitive and financially strong Tasmanian team."

Ms O'Byrne on Monday said that the state government had received the AFL's "initial written response" to their submission for an AFL team.

But her statement did not detail any of the actual feedback.

Her spokesman Rohan Wade said none of the AFL's response would be detailed publicly because it was "commercial-in-confidence".

AFL media spokesman Patrick Keane steadfastly refused to even detail how many pages the response ran to, let alone content.

"We don't think it's appropriate to release it publicly because it's a document for the government," Mr Keane said.

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou is due in Tasmania on Wednesday to launch a new state league.

His chief operating officer Gillon McLachlan last week told a Senate inquiry there are no plans to include a Tasmanian team in the competition.

The AFL plans to expand its current 16-team competition to include clubs from the Gold Coast in 2011 and Western Sydney in 2012.

The senate inquiry is due to report by the end of June next year.

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