Port Adelaide and Gold Coast players take cultural lessons ahead of landmark AFL Shanghai match

Port Adelaide Power and the Gold Coast Suns engage cultural awareness firms to teach players the do’s and don’ts of China around their May 14 clash

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 May, 2017, 3:15pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 May, 2017, 3:15pm

From chopstick etiquette to dealing with hierarchy, Aussie Rules footballers are learning about Chinese customs ahead of a groundbreaking match in Shanghai, with teams eager to avoid any missteps.

Port Adelaide Power and the Gold Coast Suns have engaged cultural awareness firms to teach players the do’s and don’ts of China around their May 14 clash, a report said Wednesday.

The match is the first-ever played for premiership points outside Australia and New Zealand, as the sport seeks to make inroads into the potentially massive Chinese market.

“The idea ... is to get a heads up on how cultures are different, how to respect them, and not make fun of them,” Port Adelaide player Jack Hombsch told The Age newspaper.

“Some things in other cultures are really important to them, and what is funny can be different to us,” he added.

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The clubs have scrambled to make the most of Chinese traditions, with the Gold Coast this week winning the right to play in their home colours of red and yellow, which they share with the Chinese flag.

Port Adelaide, who paid A$500,000 (HK$2.91 million) for the rights to the match, had argued the Suns should wear white, fearing Chinese supporters would gravitate to the challengers.

One Australian report, which the club later brushed aside, had suggested that a star player abandon his number 4 jersey as the number is considered unlucky in China.

All 10,000 tickets to the match at Shanghai’s Jiangwan Stadium have been sold.