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Suns stand their ground in jumper punch-on with Power

Suns' coup, Lion king, toothless Dee Matt Thompson and Nat Edwards with the latest football news
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 26: (L-R) AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan, Power President David Koch and Suns Chairman Tony Cochrane address the media during an AFL press conference announcing the first AFL match for premiership points in China between Port Adelaide and Gold Coast at The Chinese Museum Melbourne, Australia on October 26, 2016. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
David Koch (left) has warned Suns chairman Tony Cochrane
As I've found out, tourism on the Gold Coast is pretty important
Gold Coast CEO Mark Evans

NEW GOLD Coast chief executive Mark Evans has fired back in the slanging match with Port Adelaide, boldly declaring the Suns will wear their home strip when the clubs clash in a historic match in China.

Power president David Koch has told Gold Coast if the Suns wear their red-and-gold jumpers, which bear China's national colours, on May 14 it will be the last time they are invited to Shanghai.

But the Suns have refused to back down ahead of the first AFL match to take place in the country in round eight. 

"We'll be wearing our home strip and there's some very good reasons for that," Evans told 3AW radio.

"As I've found out, tourism on the Gold Coast is pretty important. 3.6 million Chinese tourists were interviewed as to their favourite destination worldwide and Gold Coast came up fourth.

"So it's a pretty good reason to maximise that opportunity for Tourism Australia and the Gold Coast."

Evans, to his knowledge, denied the Suns had agreed to wear an away strip in their contract with the Power. 

He also showed little concern about Koch's threat not to invite the Suns back to China.

"What I would say is I think Port Adelaide, Gold Coast and the AFL have to work incredibly hard together to make this a success and let's see where it goes from there," Evans said. 

While the Suns are listed as the home team, Koch said the Power have paid them $500,000 for all rights to the game as if they are the home club. 

"The AFL is going to have to rule on it because it's distracting from the absolute historic event that this China game is all about," David Koch told radio FIVEaa on Tuesday. 

"Gold Coast is playing silly buggers.

"We're the club leading the AFL into China, we have bought this game and paid good money for it, we're the ones that are committed for the next 10 years to play a game in China each year."

Koch repeated his threat that this would be the first and last time the Suns are asked to play in China, saying there are plenty of other clubs who want to "leverage our work in China". 

"As I've said to Tony Cochrane (Suns chairman), if you wear the red-and-gold jumper it'll be the last time we'll ever play you in China. It's up to you," he said. 

"And really (it's) up to the AFL to make a decision on this and we'll abide by the decision." 

Last week Cochrane said there is no written agreement about which jumpers the teams will wear, and dismissed Koch's ultimatum. 

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