Arucian Football Association
|Most recent season or competition:|
2022 Arucian Football Association Season
|Formerly||National Football Association (1940-1956)|
|Founded||May 11, 1940|
|No. of teams||32|
|Countries||9 countries |
Île d'Émeraude (5)
Imagua and the Assimas (2)
|AFF Vaxholmen |
|Most titles||FC Sainte-Chloé (7 Championships)|
The Arucian Football Association (Association Arucien de Football), commonly abbreviated as the AAF, is the preeminent international professional men's competition of Arucian football. Through the AAF Commission, the AAF also serves as the sport's governing body and is responsible for controlling the laws of the game. Founded in 1940 as the National Football Association, after five Arucian football clubs from Sainte-Chloé and Carucere jointly founded the organization in order to codify the rules of the game and organize professional competitions. The association's inaugural season began the following year. Under the United Provinces, in 1945 the association adopted its current name and added two teams from Bonaventure and Imagua and the Assimas the following season. Teams from Aucuria's, Eldmark, Satucin's Arucian islands joined during the 1980s. Other teams from the countries of Île d'Émeraude, Ardesia, and TBD would be added after 1978.
The Association currently consists of 32 teams spread over nine countries, with matches taking place in all participating countries. During each AAF season, each team plays 12 regular series games, popularly known as the Coconut League, which runs during the dry season (January to June). The team with the best record after the regular series is awarded the "minor premiership". The top twelve teams then play off in a four-round series known as the Arucian Cup, culminating in the Arucian Championships; the winner is awarded the Champions Trophy. Since the Association's founding in 1940, there has been a total of 82 Arucian Cups and 75 seasons. Of these games, FC Sainte-Chloé has won a record seven Championships. The most recent champion is the AFF Vaxholmen, who defeated the Canicule Suns in the 2021 Championship.
The Arucian Football Association is one of the two main sport leagues in the Arucian, the other being the Arucian Baseball League. Although the league, along with the sport, is confined to the Arucian and the surrounding countries, it is widely popular across the region. The sport and the association is strongly associated with the Arucian and the AAF is considered to be one of the region's defining cultural institutions. It is the most popular sport in Carucere and Île d'Émeraude and has a significant presence in Sainte-Chloé, Ardesia, Bonaventure, and Imagua and the Assimas. In addition the league also has a presence in the Arucian islands of Aucuria, Satucin, and Eldmark. The Association is governed by the AAF Commission, which is responsible for the administration of AAF competitions and for controlling the rules of Arucian football. The Association is officially a publicly held nonprofit corporation whose shares are held by over a million people across the Arucian and it is governed by its member clubs' fans.
The league was originally founded as the National Football Association in 1940, before it was renamed as the Arucian Football Association following the collapse of the United Provinces in 1956. Officially the operating language of the league is Gaullican, which is widely used by upper management and leadership. However since the 1980s, the lower levels of the league effectively operates on a multilingual basis based upon their club's host country. The regular season of the AAF is popularly known as the Coconut League and the tournament held at the end of each AAF season to determine the premier is known as the Arucian Cup. These terms are often used to differentiate it from the organisation itself.
Due to the international nature of the league, it is known by several different names such as:
- Association Arucien de Football (Gaullican)
- Associação de Futebol de Araucária (Luzelese)
- Federcalcio arucian (Etrurian)
- Aruska Fotbollsförbundet (Geatish)
- Arucian Futbolo Asociacija (Ruttish)
- Ajuzia Vudubodu Dhai (Carucerean Ziba)
The Arucian Football Association is collectively owned by the members of all clubs in the AAF who each own a share of the organization. A share of AAF stock does not include an equity interest, does not pay dividends, cannot be traded, and has no protection under securities law. However they are given voting rights, an invitation to the corporation's annual congress, season-ticket purchasing privileges, and an opportunity to purchase exclusive merchandise. Shareholders elect delegates, based upon club affiliation, to the AAF Congress, the supreme legislative body of the organization. Originally the Congress solely consisted of indirectly elected members appointed by its member clubs, but reforms in the 1980s expanded the franchise to all shareholders. The Congress has the authority to elect the members of the AAF Commission and its President as well as remove them from office as it sees fit.
The AAF Commission is the main decision-making body of the organization between the sessions of the AAF Congress. The Commission simultaneously functions as a board of directors by supervising the the activities of the Association, as the governing body of the game by regulating the competitions it oversees, and as the governing body that oversees the rules of the sport. In addition to its regular members appointed by the Congress, the Commission also includes representatives from several affiliated associations such as the AAF Players Association, AAF Coaches Association, and the AAF Owners Association. The Commission is lead by the President, who is also the official head of the organization. The Commission consists of various departments that oversees all aspects of the organization.
The AAF is comprised of 32 teams: 8 from Sainte-Chloé, 6 from Bonaventure, 5 from Île d'Émeraude, 4 from Ardesia, 2 from Carucere, Eldmark, Satucin, and Imagua and the Assimas, and 1 from Aucuria. The league has no system of promotion and relegation. The teams are divided into four divisions of seven teams each, and matches are played in a round robin system, where all teams play against all twice in a season. The divisions are the National, Western, Central, and East. After 12 rounds of regular season games every week, the best 4 standing teams in each division will qualify to the Arucian Cup, a knock-out stage that goes from round-of-16 to the Championship; a third-place match is also played prior to the Championship.
|National||Canicule Suns||Canicule||Sainte-Chloé||Parc AXA||2004|
|Éclair Crusaders||Éclair||Sainte-Chloé||Stade Atisreal||1988|
|FC Escalade||Escalade||Sainte-Chloé||Stade Criteo||1945|
|FC Decouverte||Decouverte||Sainte-Chloé||Champ Decouverte||1954|
|FC Port Imperial||Port de la Sainte||Sainte-Chloé||Champ du Port Impérial||1925||1940||Founding member of the AAF.|
|FC Sainte-Chloé||Port de la Sainte||Sainte-Chloé||Stade Universitaire||1869*||1940||Began as an amateur club founded by graduates from the University of Sainte-Chloé. Founding member of the AAF.|
|FC Sainte-Geneviève||Sainte-Geneviève||Sainte-Chloé||Stade Sainte-Geneviève||1920||1940||Founding member of the AAF.|
|FC Tranquille||Tranquille||Sainte-Chloé||Champ de Sainte Croix||1906||1940||Founding member of the AAF.|
|Western||FC Carrefour||Carrefour||Carucere||Stade Préval||1888||1940||Founded by the merger of five semi-professional and amateur football clubs. Founding member of the AAF.|
|40px||FC Chiltic||Ravelle||Ardesia||Estádio Araujo||1983|
|FC Cuanstad Dockworkers||Cuanstad||Imagua and the Assimas||King's Park Field||1923||1945|
|Marien Pirates||Fort-Royal||Carucere||Stade du Rocher de L'Aigle||1973|
|40px||AFC San Pietro||San Pietro||Imagua and the Assimas||Quinzio Cedro Stadium||1946|
|40px||CR São Agostinho||São Agostinho||Ardesia||Estádio São Agostinho||1978|
|AFF Vaxholmen||Vaxholmen||Eldmark||EldmarkFlyg Arena||1994|
|Central||AA Armada||Sermoni||Bonaventure||XXXX Stadium||1969|
|40px||AP La Vallatina||La Valla||Bonaventure||XXXX Stadium||2007|
|40px||AP Piazza Ottobre||Sermoni||Bonaventure||XXXX Stadium||1922||1946|
|40px||CF Riga||Riga||Bonaventure||XXXX Stadium||1988|
|40px||Rémont AC||Rémont||Ardesia||Estádio Zapote||1981|
|AFK Rokiškis||Rokiškis||Aucuria||XXXX Stadium||1981|
|40px||AP Sermoni||Sermoni||Bonaventure||XXXX Stadium||1956|
|CF Toucans||Accapucchi||Bonaventure||XXXX Stadium||1942||1946|
|Eastern||40px||Arac C.F.A.||Arac||Satucin||XXXX Stadium||1978|
|Fort Anne FC||Fort Anne||Île d'Émeraude||XXXX Stadium||2007|
|FC Mathiasville||Mathiasville||Île d'Émeraude||XXXX Stadium||1973|
|Port-au-Grégoire Pumas||Port-au-Grégoire||Île d'Émeraude||XXXX Stadium||1969|
|Port-au-Grégoire United||Port-au-Grégoire||Île d'Émeraude||XXXX Stadium||2004|
|The Porte C.F.A||Port Imperial||Satucin||XXXX Stadium||1994|
|40px||Porto Sotiri FC||Porto Sotiri||Ardesia||Estádio Argola de Ouro||1983|
|Saint Clair Sailors||Saint Clair||Île d'Émeraude||XXXX Stadium||1991|
Founding Era (1940-1956)
The National Football Association was founded in 1940 by the owners of one Carucere and three Sainte-Chloé football clubs. The goal of the organization was to officially codify the rules of Arucian football in order to establish a tournament for Arucian football clubs to participate in. The inaugural National Cup tournament kicked off in November 1940 with a total of five teams competing. After five games in total, FC Sainte-Chloé were crowned the winners in the championship game. By the next year the National Cup tournament was the preeminent competition for the sport in the Arucian and cultivated an elite status. With the founding of the United Provinces in 1945, the organization expanded to the two other member states of the federation, Bonaventure and Imagua and the Assimas. Two teams were added for the 1945 tournament and an additional three teams for the 1946 tournament. However owners began voicing their concerns over inclusions of additional teams for fear that the tournament would lose its newly minted status.
For the 1947 tournament, the Association added "qualifying rounds"; two single elimination rounds which reduced the number of competitors for the year's tournament to just four. The qualifying rounds are a direct predecessor of the modern AAF season; for this reason the 1947 qualifying rounds are considered as the first AAF season. The Association would add FC Decouverte from Sainte-Chloé in 1954 and AP Sermoni from Bonaventure for the 1956 season. Gameplay during this era, was characterized as fast-paced with many tackles and turnovers, but low-scoring as scoring opportunities were rare.
Expansion Era (1956-1981)
The political chaos caused by the collapse of the United Provinces in 1955 and 1956 brought significant delay to the 1956 season as the NFA was now spread across multiple independent countries. It took several months for Association officials to negotiate with their respective countries to allow players to reside, play, and travel between the former members of the United Provinces. Prior to the start of the delayed 1956 season, the National Football Association rebranded itself as the Arucian Football Association and renamed the tournament the Arucian Cup. Finally the Association adopted a round-robin system instead of single elimination for the qualifying rounds. The new system greatly expanded the number of games in the qualifying rounds and represented a fundamental shift away from its origins as a tournament.
Despite the addition of teams from the rest of the Golden Isles starting in 1945, the game continued to be dominated by the original five teams. The first team not from this group to win the Arucian Cup was the Cuanstad Dockworkers from Imagua and the Assimas in 1962. Over the following decade, the association quickly achieved parity as teams from Boneventure and Imagua and the Assimas acquired proficient players and coaching. This period also saw further alterations to the rules of the sport. In 1964 substitutes were allowed for the first time, but only for players injured before half-time. In 1966, the concept of retaining possession after tackles were introduced; it was hoped that this would encourage more attacking plays and longer possession. Nevertheless a limit of three tackles per possession were imposed shortly before the start of the season. The new rules slowed the game down by reducing turnovers and allowing teams to use sets to retain possession for longer.
The 1969 addition of AA Armada from Bonaventure and the Port-au-Grégoire Pumas from Île d'Émeraude marked a new era, as the Pumas was the first club from outside the former United Provinces to join the Association. That year also saw the rise of the first modern "super team" under the management of coach XXX, who lead the CF Toucans to three consecutive Arucian Cup victories from 1969 to 1971, an appearance in the 1972 Cup, and an additional victory in the 1973 Cup. His coaching style and creation of new player tactics that were especially designed around sets revolutionized the sport and marked a new era in gameplay. At his insistence, the limit on sets were increased from 3 to 5 for the 1975 Cup. The change proved extremely popular among players and fans, despite opposition from some coaches. This change would prove to be one of the most important rule changes in the establishment of the modern game, as it allowed more opportunities for a team to maintain possession of the ball and score. Several coaches emerged who took advantage of these sweeping changes. The new strategies they designed emphasized saving sets until the team is near an opponents goal, instead of using it to advance of the field. These strategies allowed their teams to gain multiple chances to score per possession instead of just one or two. These changes turned Arucian football into a high-scoring sport.