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Arena Football League set to touch down in China
AFL » Indoor league’s global 50-yard plans begin with Asia.


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"One team, the offense, has the ball and wants to move the ball forward to score," Tilley said. "The other team, the defense, wants to stop that from happening and wants to take the ball away."

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He adds: "It’s simple. Simple and tough. American professional football. Coming soon to China!"

Hey, learning to blitz must be easier than scaling the Great Wall.

The league plans to play an exhibition game in October in Hawaii and then two more preseason games later that month in Beijing and Shanghai. The AFL expects a six-team league to debut in September or October 2014. The schedule length — 10 games was suggested — and franchise sites are to be determined.

The league will start as a mix of American and Chinese players. Judge said he hoped the league would be compromised of predominantly Chinese players by the time it’s expected to expand to 12 teams in 2016.


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"China’s ready for football," Judge said. "They want Arena football. They want more excitement. The stadiums are already built in every major city. They’ll sit 10,000 people which is perfect for Arena football."

Judge is working on finding a TV deal in China to air the games. He wants an AFL China vs. AFL United States version of ArenaBowl in Hawaii and expects the league to eventually expand into other parts of Asia.

Soul general manager Tom Goodhines visited Beijing and said he met people who had a strong appetite for professional football.

"Why not bring football there," he asked. "I think we’re taking the right approach and doing it the right way."

Judge and Jaworski hatched the idea over beers a couple of years ago. Judge had expanded his technology consulting firm into China in 2008 and used some contacts to bring the idea of launching the AFL to the right people.

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