In a week when crucial Asian Champions League games see A-League's best face China’s biggest football clubs, the AFL has been called out for ‘laughable and weird’ claims around their sport in the Middle Kingdom.
“What do Chinese people think of the AFL? I live in Shanghai and I didn’t go to the Aussie Rules game here last year.
"But everybody I know and the word on the street in Shanghai was the crowd was basically the local Australian chamber of commerce, Aussie expats and other expat Westerners and a few Chinese.
“This game wasn’t well received.
“I don’t want to disrespect Aussie Rules. I respect whatever sport people choose, that’s up to them.
“I wouldn’t disrespect it for those who are into it.
“But their [AFL] international promotion strategy comes across as very insular and backward.
“Ignoring the fact that football is the world sport and Australian clubs have been representing your country across the entire continent, not just China, for over 10 years.
“Whoever said these things about the AFL are people of some standing, club officials. People who should know better, but obviously they don’t.
“It says a lot about them, they’re not very well informed and there’s no excuse, especially if they want to make Aussie Rules go outside of Australia.”
Wilson added full contact sports like American Football and Aussie Rules are not going to take off in China because of cultural issues.
“Chinese parents are afraid of rain! When it rains they bring their kids in because their children are going to get a cold.
“Full contact sports don’t have any real potential here. At least not in the foreseeable future.”