An initiative of Australian Football International (AFI), the inaugural World 9s were held in Melbourne on Saturday 16 February, 2019. The venue was Lakeside Stadium, Albert Park.
The venue was built on the site of the former Australian rules football and cricket ground, Lake Oval (South Melbourne Cricket Ground). It served for more than a century as the home ground of the South Melbourne Football Club and the South Melbourne Cricket Club, although it was also used for soccer from at least 1883.
The 8 competing teams were Chile, Ireland, Italy, Malta, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland and Team Harmony.
It was a historic day for our great game, as we launched our strategy to have Footy 9s included in the Olympic Games. This is part of our 2020 – 2040 Strategic Plan.