THE AFL has put Gold Coast’s Metricon Stadium on standby if the decision is made not to play an historic match in China.
Rising international tensions have raised some doubts about playing the May 14 Port Adelaide-Gold Coast game in Shanghai.
The match at Jiangwan Sports Stadium would be the first AFL clash for premiership points outside Australia or New Zealand.
But Power chief executive Keith Thomas says they will rely on Australian government advice, given the worsening relations between the United States and North Korea.
“Clearly you can’t ignore the circumstances that prevail in the world today and they’re in a region that’s sensitive to China and where we will be,” Thomas told reporters on Tuesday.
“Right now, we have had no advice to suggest that the game is at risk or we shouldn’t be going.
“We’ll just keep bowling along until we’re told otherwise.
“The AFL have said if the game doesn’t happen in Shanghai, they said this 12 months ago, it will happen at Metricon,” Thomas said.
It is just another serious issue Port Adelaide has had to face after having to already work through a number of embarrassing public problems to do with the historic match, including the Suns’ decision to play a home-game red and yellow playing strip — the national colours of China.
Port has paid Gold Coast $500,000 to move the game to the 25,000-capacity 25,000 Jiangwan Sports Centre.
Koch is scheduled to host a business forum the day before the game as part of a corporate component of the game which will involve Australian producers hold a convention outside the stadium before the game in a bid to boost Aussie food produce in China.
Port Adelaide’s budget to host the game with assistance from government and the AFL is over $4 million, including a $250,000 investment from the South Australian State Government.
Now it may all amount to nothing.
SOURCE: newsnow sport