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International rules series postponed

29/07/2009 07:44:09 PM Comments (0)

The AFL and the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) have put off the international rules series for a year, citing financial concerns.

The Australians were due to tour Ireland at the end of the current AFL season, but they will now play two away Tests in October, 2010.

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou and GAA director general Paraic Duffy had several discussions in the last week before making the decision.

"The current global situation has severely impacted on the sponsorship and support opportunities available for sporting organisations around the world and we needed to make a responsible decision and wait for 12 months," Demetriou said on Wednesday.

"Everybody, whether they are a sporting code, whether they are a multi-million dollar business or a multi-national, is very conscious of the fact that it is a time to be particularly prudent with expenditure.

"Like any other business we are prioritising what we spend our money on."

Demetriou said the AFL had committed to the 2010 tour.

"We are confident that the global market can continue its gradual return to strength and we and the GAA can plan over this 12 months for a fantastic series next year," he said.

The international rules concept has had a troubled history, with the series called off and nearly cancelled permanently in 2007 because of on-field violence.

It resumed last year, with Ireland touring Australia.

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