CHICAGO – Philadelphia Soul co-owner Ron Jaworski visited Beijing on Monday to announce the launch of the Arena Football League’s venture into China.
AFL Commissioner Jerry B. Kurz initially announced the League’s intentions to return to international play at AVITAE ArenaBowl XXV Media Day. “The project has been in the works for some time,” Kurz said. “With Ron Jaworski, Dick Vermeil and Marty Judge spearheading this project, the AFL will officially launch AFL International in 2014. And it won’t just stop in China.” The League will play showcase games in China to lay the groundwork for a six-team, 10-game League beginning in the fall of 2014. The fall-winter season will allow AFL coaches and trainers to visit China in an effort to teach the game and develop players. “The AFL is truly excited to bring our brand of football to China. We’ve had a number of very successful ventures overseas in the past, so we are confident that our game resonates worldwide,” Kurz said. While rosters will begin with both Chinese and American players, the ultimate goal of the League is to eventually cultivate rosters comprised entirely of Chinese players, making America’s most fan-friendly game a truly worldwide sport.