AFL Asia, in conjunction with the Thailand Tigers Australian Football Club, has today announced that the 2021 Asian Championships, originally scheduled for later in the year in Thailand, will be cancelled.

The health and safety of the travelling parties was the number one priority in the decision to cancel the event, and AFL Asia maintains that has been, and will be, their continued focus. 

Ongoing consultation with the Thailand Tigers Australian Football Club, as well as medical advice from local government authorities, has confirmed that with the travel restrictions and quarantining protocols in place, combined with the heightened risk to our players, officials and supporters, hosting this year’s event cannot proceed.

AFL Asia and the Thailand Tigers Australian Football Club will look forward to hosting the event in 2022, with the Tigers maintaining their hosting rights for another year. AFL Asia maintains that the ‘Champs’ is a very important event in the annual calendar.

Thailand Tigers Australian Football Club President, John Wellby, remains optimistic in hosting a fantastic event next year.

“The Asian Championships is the pinnacle of our season at the Tigers and a lot of hard work is put in by multitudes of people to make this happen. With the cancellation of this year’s event, however, this only makes us more determined to make next year’s ‘Champs’ even better again and we really look forward to seeing our brothers and sisters from across the region playing the game we love in better times next year”, Wellby stated.

AFL Asia Advisory Board and Events Sub-Committee Member, Matt Gale, said that although cancelling the 2021 event is disappointing, he pointed to the increase in local participation and establishment of many domestic leagues across the region as huge positive steps for this year.

“While it has been disappointing that we have been unable to compete internationally this year, the importance of local player development and domestic leagues has come to the forefront of footy in Asia and will help with the growth of our great game. We look forward to an even bigger and better 21st Asian Championships in 2022”, Gale said.

We look forward to putting on AFL Asia’s premier tournament once conditions have improved in 2022.