The AFL is about to announce a preseason exhibition game to celebrate all cultures.
7NEWS reporter Mitch Cleary announced that the Indigenous All-Stars will adopt a “world” lineup of multicultural players ahead of the 2023 season.
February looks to be the ideal time for the game which could see Sydney Swans superstar Lance Franklin ahead of his anticipated final season.
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The world team could include multicultural stars like Changkuoth Jiath, Aliir Aliir and Mabior Chol, as well as Adam Saad and Nic Naitanui.
The Indigenous All-Stars previously featured in the failed AFLX experiment in 2018 while also representing Australia in the 2013 International Rules series.
Next year’s game follows a major push by players at a four-day think tank held by the AFL to bring Indigenous and multicultural players together to improve in-game relationships in the wake of the Hawthorn racism scandal.
The summit is meant to celebrate and strengthen cultural identity in the game – but according to the AFL, it comes at a critical time.
Disturbing allegations leveled at but denied by Alastair Clarkson and Chris Fagan have brought football racism back into the headlines.
It’s a problem the league has continued to grapple with from Nicky Winmar in the 1990s to Adam Goodes in the 2010s.
“We hope this summit can drive further improvements in the cultural security industry,” said AFLPA GM Brett Murphy.
The independent investigation into Hawthorn’s racism allegations was due to be completed by Christmas but is now expected to continue into the new year. Feedback is still being collected and submitted to the Commission before it is made public.
For players, it’s about taking the game in a new direction.
“I feel like we’re growing closer between leagues and sharing our experiences and understanding that we can learn from each other,” said Carlton AFLW star Darcy Vescio.
Fremantle male star Michael Walters added: “We’re all playing each other but at the same time we’re all here to lean on each other and get to know each other.”
https://7news.com.au/sport/afl/indigenous-all-stars-to-play-world-team-in-pre-season-afl-battle-to-celebrate-all-cultures-c-9029361 AFL Preseason Game: Indigenous All-Stars play World Team in February’s AFL preseason