DEAF Football Australia (DFA) will not return to Orange in 2014.
Amid speculation of expansion, DFA coach Rob Stanton confirmed yesterday his team would not return to town for next year’s Australia Day Football Cup.
After the 2013 tournament, DFA had hoped to expand the tournament to include another international line-up.
Instead, the 2014 competition is left without its main attraction and will most likely not be held among local teams.
“We won’t be able to field a full squad for the training camp, or the tournament,” Stanton said.
“It is disappointing because we felt as though we had a good thing happening in Orange. But with the Western Premier League also folding it might have been hard to find opponents anyway.”
Stanton said the cost of such a tournament, which includes an international team, had become unrealistic. He also said the international team that had nominated for the event hit a snag.
“Our players still work and need to take time off for these camps,” he said.
“The logistics became too difficult. Then the Iraqi team had VISA problems, that combined with the costing made it too hard.”
Stanton said this is not the first time DFA has had problems with visiting teams.
“We had problems with Fulham’s deaf team too,” he said. “We went there and played and then they didn’t reciprocate. It is an unfortunate situation we’re in now.”
Despite the setback, Stanton said he hoped the relationships could be reinvigorated in future years.
“We’d love to come back again when it can be done,” he said.
“Next year we have qualifiers for the proposed 2015 World Cup, so we’re concentrating on getting in good preparation for that.
“We would love to come back in the future though.”