SPORT

AFL Is Heading To China, So Why Are Grown Men Fighting Over Shirt Colours?

It's all about red and yellow.

28/02/2017 5:58 PM AEDT | Updated 28/02/2017 6:57 PM AEDT
Ryan Pierse via Getty Images
They're just colours.

Port Adelaide President and Channel Seven media personality, David Koch -- popularly known as 'Kochie' -- is now taking his ultimatums to football guernsey colours.

May 14 will see the first ever AFL match played in China, when the Port Adelaide Power take on the Gold Coast Suns in Shanghai.

But 'Kochie' is worried that the Suns' red-and-gold strip will look a little too, well, Chinese.

Red and gold are the colours of the Chinese flag. Koch has told Gold Coast Suns Chairman David Cochrane if his club wears their red-and-yellow home jumper colours, it will be the last time they play in China.

He also demanded the AFL intervene and make a ruling on what he called an "absolute historic event". Koch told Radio FIVEaa on Tuesday that the dispute comes down to Port Adelaide paying the Suns $500,000 for the rights to the fixture and to move the game to Shanghai.

He's also done a lot of behind-the-scenes groundwork to make this game possible.

Koch was part of the team that established Port Adelaide's 'China Strategy', which was designed to pair the club with the country and "create opportunities to bring people together through football and grow business relationships."

"Gold Coast is playing silly buggers... and we are the club that is leading the AFL into China. We have bought this game -- and paid good money for it," he told FIVEaa.

"We are the ones who are committed for the next 10 years to play a game in China each year. We had a number of other clubs that wanted to play us this year and there is no shortage of clubs that want to leverage our work in China.

"As I have said to Tony Cochrane, if you wear the red-and-gold jumper it will be the last time we will play you in China. It is up to you. It is for the AFL to make a decision and we will abide by it."

While the AFL has largely stayed out of the debate, the league fixture lists the Suns as the home side, which entitles them to wear their home colours. And Cochrane is not backing down.

Instead he shut down the threat, saying there never was a written agreement between the two clubs to determine who would wear which colours and that the final decision should come from the AFL.

"The AFL -- not Koch -- has full responsibility for the league calendar," he told the Advertiser.

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