When I was a kid, I remember reading Manchester United hardman Kevin Moran's exploits in gaelic football. The game is similar to Aussie rules, please read Wikipedia's take here
Aussie rules is without doubt the number one watched sport in Australia. But unlike football, the game has little appeal outside Down Under.
The Bernama report carried by the New Straits Times here gives me the impression that the Tourism Ministry has entered an agreement with a soccer team or league, with Carlton dubbed as Australia's Man Yoo.
News portal Malaysianinsider.com had in November carried a piece on Malaysia's investment in an AFL club here. Also read Tourism Ministry's backs to the wall
Now I can understand Tourism Ministry's target audience but an astute reader pointed out:
"Give me the money and we will do sports tourism events that will generate steady and consistent flow of direct tourists who will extend their stay in this country. The name Aussie Rules itself means it is not a worldwide phenomenon. Thus every sen spent will not be justified. Count how many Aussie tourists who come directly as opposed to indirect tourists or transit tourists, most either go direct to Singapore, Bangkok or Bali.
"The Tourism Ministry officials must have been afraid to express their concerns with their "Saya yang menurut perintah" attitude which may translate to "numerous overseas trips" in return.
"Marketeers would put the money on the Chinese Football League, it is worth the investment for a country that has two billion population, with the hit rate bigger plus Malaysia Truly Asia tagline carries a bigger weight as we have plenty of common heritage that can be exploited like food, culture, famous "made in China" shopping items.
"I don't know whether some people are already positioning themselves for life in Australia after March 2009."