Port Adelaide’s push to play an AFL game in China next season will be supported by the league.
The AFL, Port and the club’s new Chinese sponsor have signed a memorandum of understanding to play a premiership-season game in 2017 in Shanghai.
“The AFL will work with Port Adelaide to explore all available options to take a first game for premiership points into China,” AFL chief Gillon McLachlan said on Thursday in a statement.
The memorandum was signed on Thursday in Shanghai by Port chief Keith Thomas, McLachlan and representatives from Port’s new Chinese sponsor Shanghai Cred Real Estate.
The agreement was witnessed by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in his first act in China as Australia’s leader.
Port said in a statement all parties would endeavour to stage a match in China next year – but the club said it wouldn’t sacrifice an Adelaide Oval home game.
“Today is a day that has been the culmination of a lot of hard work, and to be honest, a day that many thought would never happen,” Thomas said in a statement.
“I’m incredibly proud to have a signed a memorandum of understanding on behalf of the Port Adelaide Football Club that ensures we will do everything possible to play a game for premiership points here in Shanghai as early as next season.”