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AFC Asian Cup - Australia 2015

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The Preliminary Draw Ceremony for the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 will be held in Melbourne next week with official logo to be unveiled in the same day

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The Preliminary Draw Ceremony for the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 will be conducted on October 9. The ceremony will take place at the Sofitel Hotel, Melbourne.

A total of 20 teams will be drawn into five groups of four teams each. The qualifiers will be played from February 6, 2013 to March 5, 2014.

The top two teams in each group and the best third-placed team among all the groups will qualify for the tournament proper to be played in Australia in January 2015.

The official logo of AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 wil be also launched during the Draw Ceremony.


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The tournament will be played from the 4 to 26 January 2015 in 5 stadiums to be chosen by the end of the year with the final to be held in Sydney

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Sydney has been unofficially confirmed as the host city of the semi-finals, the match for third place and the final of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.

Organising committee chief executive Michael Brown said Australia's biggest city was the venue for the showpiece matches.

"The two semi-finals, the match for third place and the final will take place in Sydney," Brown said.

"We don't know which venues will hold the tournament's last four matches because negotiations are still going on.

"Sydney will definitely have two venues for the tournament but we need to finalise the five stadiums by the end of the year.

"This is subject to AFC approval because it is its own event but we as the local organising committee are all keen to work with them because they have run such events in the past.

"The same thing happens with the World Cup and Olympics."

The world's third largest football tournament, in terms of television viewership, will take place in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra at five stadiums to be selected from a shortlist of eight.

"The opening match involving the Socceroos will be in Melbourne just before the start of the Australian Open tennis, the Australian team will play its group matches in three cities and each of the four host cities will stage a quarter-final," Brown said.

Japan, Australia, Korea Republic, Korea DPR and the winner of the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup will play in the tournament automatically.

The remaining 11 teams will come from a group qualification phase that commences next March, with the official draw for the qualifying path taking place in Melbourne in October.

The local organising committee has set aside the date of 9 October for the staging of the draw at a city venue.

"The draw will take place in Melbourne on 9 October and the AFC will bring along all its top officials for the occasion," Brown said.

"The draw will determine the composition of the groups to find the remaining 11 teams to play in Australia in 2015."

Brown also said that since the Asian Cup was an AFC event, Australia as host was not at liberty to determine the shape and form of the tournament without the governing body's approval.

“We have recommended the dates of 9-31 January or thereabouts and there are schedules in place that we are working on,” he said.

In a wide-ranging interview, Brown addressed a number of challenges facing the organising committee amid lingering concerns over a perceived lack of local interest.

Eddie McGuire reckons that the Asian Cup might be a 'lemon'. How hard is it going to be to convince mainstream Australia that this is indeed a big sporting event?

"Eddie's a passionate Melburnian and Collingwood president. I have spoken to him and written to Melbourne Major Events to make sure that they understand the contribution governments are making.

”For me the biggest issue we're confronted with is Australia's awareness. Football is a growing sport and the Asian Cup should be the watershed moment for the development of the game in this country.

"The A-League is only in its infancy but it's going from strength to strength.

"But the AFL nearly collapsed in 1985 because it was broke and had to go to an independent commission to rebuild itself.

"Cricket had to go through the World Series in the 1970s to regenerate and reinvigorate itself so every sport has been there.

"So it is a bit unfair to suggest that this Asian Cup is a lemon … if anything it shows the size of the opportunity for us to educate people like Eddie about the merits of one of the top three football tournaments in the world.

"We have not had an event of this size since the 2000 Olympics. Forty-six nations representing half of the world's population will be trying to qualify for this event.”

So will Australia organise a successful tournament?

"It's going to be tough and a massive challenge but we know that Aussies are great sports lovers and the event will take place at a very good time of the year.

"We've got the (regional) best of the sport here and people will come to watch the best.

"We need people who are event-watchers to come along.

"We see this event as part of the long-term awareness campaign for football.

"People go and watch T20 cricket because they know it's on even though they might not know much about it.

"So what we're trying to do is build consumers of the game and we know that the best form of consumer is the participant, who is more than likely to follow the game.

"The legacy we are trying to leave from this event is that this is a good sport and people should feel comfortable to be around and involved in it.”

How do you sell a match between, say, Oman and Jordan?

"This happens in cricket and rugby world cups where lesser matches draw small crowds.

"The challenge will be to activate those local communities around such matches.

"We also have to be novel with things that we can do, like having a popular ticketing program linked to the A-League clubs, grassroots, schools and local business groups that invites people to games.

"I'd rather have 40,000 fans paying $10 than 20,000 people paying $20 a head.

"We'll tell them they might not necessarily see the most popular teams play but we'll surround the match in question by community engagement strategies like fairs and festivals.

"We will also have ticketing packages whereby, for example, if you buy tickets to the big games you might get a couple of tickets to the smaller games.”

Will the draw be piloted to make sure some teams play where they are more likely to attract healthy crowds?

"We are beginning to examine that discussion now.

"We are developing an understanding of where the population groups are.

"For example, if Lebanon qualify it would make sense to have them play in Sydney.

"When Australia played Saudi Arabia in Melbourne two and a half thousand Saudis came to the match unannounced.

"So we will work with the AFC about this but you cannot compromise the draw.

"We are aiming for an average of no fewer than 10,000 people per game."

In a nutshell, what sort of tournament can Australian and foreign fans expect in 2015?

"A festival of football ... a celebration of Australia's rich culture and what we're good at.

"I want it to be a friendly games, a microcosm of our multiculturalism."


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AFC Asian Cup draw live on YouTube


Melbourne: The AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015™ preliminary draw and logo launch will be streamed live via YouTube on Tuesday.

The event, which will begin at 1800 hrs local time (GMT +11) at Melbourne’s Hotel Sofitel, can be watched through AFC Asian Cup’s YouTube page - www.youtube.com/theafcasiancup.

Twenty teams will be divided into five groups of four teams each. Top two teams from each group and the best third-placed team among all the groups will qualify for the tournament proper to be held in Australia in 2015.

AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™ champions Japan, hosts and runners-up Australia, third-placed Korea Republic, AFC Challenge Cup 2012 winners DPR Korea and the champions of the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup will get direct berths in the final competition.

Teams from Uzbekistan, Qatar, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, China, Bahrain, Syria, UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Thailand, Yemen, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Lebanon and Hong Kong will know their opponents on Tuesday.


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AFC Asian Cup preparations reviewed


Melbourne: In its first meeting held in host country Australia, the AFC Asian Cup Organising Committee met under the chairmanship of AFC Vice-President HRH Tengku Abdullah Ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah and reviewed the preparations for the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015™ on Tuesday.

At the outset, AFC Acting President Zhang Jilong praised the progress made by the Australian Local Organising Committee (ALOC) in staging a successful competition.

“I would like to congratulate ALOC for their tremendous work so far in starting to prepare the venues for hosting the biggest football competition in Asia," said Jilong.

“This is only the beginning and there is a lot that needs to be done in the run-up to the competition but I am confident that Australia will host the best ever competition,” he said.

HRH Tengku Abdullah said the committee members were happy with the development so far and looking forward to the preliminary draw and logo launch later today.

“We have the first big event of this competition today and I am sure Australia’s rich tradition and hospitality will leave an impression on all the team representatives and the committee members alike,” he said.

“There would be obstacles along the way but I am sure that AFC and the ALOC will face them together and find solutions to make the event a success.”

The committee later approved the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015™ logo.

The members were briefed that the selection of host cities and stadiums would be finalised by April 2013. They were also informed about inspections by AFC teams to finalise the Stadium Technical Annex.

ALOC CEO Michael Brown presented Australia’s planning and preparedness to host the event in 2015.


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AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015™ logo unveiled


Melbourne: The AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015™ logo was unveiled in a glitzy ceremony at Hotel Sofitel here on Tuesday.

Tuesday, 09 October 2012 16:02

The logo depicts a stylised player, kicking a football from the east coast of Australia across country towards Asia. The ball also represents the Australian summer sun arcing west from Australia to Asia.

The four golden bands forming the map of Australia represent the four host cities. The design is embraced by the AFC holding device.

The logo reflects an event that will be a festival of football. It will be celebrated in January, the height of the Australian summer holiday season so the colour palette is warm, festive and embracing of all participants from across Asia.

The design reflects the fun and celebratory nature of the event with a strong sense of movement, energy and excitement.

The elements behind the inspiration include the joys of an Australian beachside summer, the festive atmosphere of bringing many nations together, a sense of adventure Down Under and most of all, evoking the sporting spirit and energy of the game.

The logo is full of dynamic movement, local colour and originality and it celebrates the word-class competitive nature of this great event, albeit with an Australian flavour.


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Jilong confident of AFC Asian Cup success


Melbourne: AFC Acting President Zhang Jilong predicted a thrilling AFC Asian Cup 2015 qualifying campaign following the preliminary draw here on Tuesday.

Twenty teams came out of the pots to be slotted into five groups of four teams each. The qualifying action will start in February 2014 and end in March 2014 with 11 teams entering the tournament proper alongside hosts Australia, reigning champions Japan, Korea Republic, DPR Korea and the winners of the 2014 edition of the AFC Challenge Cup.

“The long and difficult journey to that day starts here and now with the preliminary draw when 20 of our teams find out the challenges, which await them, as they pursue their aim of qualifying for the final tournament,” said Jilong.

“I can safely predict a lot of goals, plenty of fair play and an endless supply of entertainment during the qualifying period.”

Jilong gave voice to the Asian football family’s hopes and aspirations.

“The AFC Asian Cup is the jewel in the crown of Asian football and sport-loving Australia has been entrusted to host the next edition,” said the AFC Acting President.

“AFC is confident that the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 will be the best ever, a perfect and unforgettable celebration of football,” he said.

FFA Chairman Frank Lowy said this is the first big event leading to the biggest football tournament ever staged in Australia.

“We are honoured to be the host of this competition. It will celebrate Asia’s rich football heritage and leave a lasting legacy for the game here in Australia,” he said.

“We believe the AFC Asian Cup will provide many opportunities to strengthen our trade and tourism ties with Asia.”

AFC Asian Cup Organising Committee Chairman His Royal Highness Tengku Abdullah Ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah said that AFC had raised the bar for the AFC Asian Cup in terms of organisation, performance and attendance with each passing edition.

“The 2015 qualifiers promise to be thrilling because the tournament itself continues to evolve with each passing edition. The AFC Asian Cup easily highlights everything that is praiseworthy about Asian football today,” he said.

“The expectations are high not only of the teams but also of the hosts and my committee is confident that they will deliver a world-class event.”

Premier of the state of Victoria Ted Baillieu said his government would work closely with ALOC to make the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015™ a great success.

“We are supporting the event because we recognise how important the Asian Cup is for football here in Australia,” said Bailieu.

“Australian governments want to work with the organisers to not only ensure the tournament is a great success but also to strengthen tourism, trade, investment and business ties with Asia,” he said.

“Asia is a growing and important region for Victoria and Australia and I look forward to welcoming many international business people to Melbourne both in the lead-up to and during the event.

“By making these connections we will ensure the Asian Cup is not only about the great football on the pitch, but leaves a great legacy after the final whistle is blown,” he added.


AFC Asian Cup rivalries renewed


Melbourne: Renewal of acquaintance will be the main feature of the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015™ qualifiers after the preliminary draw for Asia's flagship national team tournament was held here on Tuesday.

Twenty teams were divided into five groups of four teams each. The top two teams from each group and the best third-placed team among all the groups will qualify for the tournament proper to be held in Australia in 2015.

AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™ champions Japan, hosts and runners-up Australia, third-placed Korea Republic, AFC Challenge Cup 2012 winners DPR Korea and the champions of the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup will get direct berths in the final competition.

Syria were together with Jordan in Group B of the last edition in Doha 2011 but the former crashed out while the Al Nashama advanced to the quarter-finals after finishing second in the group behind eventual champions Japan. This time, the Syrian Eagles, Jordan, Oman, and Singapore who last appeared in 1994, complete Group A.

In another renewal of rivalry, Iran who beat Kuwait in the 1976 final to emerge as the champions have again been put together with the Al Azraq in Group B where they face off against Lebanon and 2007 co-hosts and group stage contestants Thailand.

Iraq are to shake hands with Saudi Arabia again in Group C, having emerged champions in 2007 after defeating the Green Falcons. China PR, who were runners-up in 2004, and 2007 co-hosts Indonesia will keep them company.

In Group E, Central Asians Uzbekistan will meet Hong Kong, the hosts and third place winners of the inaugural edition in 1956. The section is rounded off by 2007 quarter-finalists Vietnam and 1996 runners-up the UAE.

Group D is home to 2011 hosts and quarter-finalists Qatar, who have appeared in the AFC Asian Cup seven times, their neighbours Bahrain, Yemen, and 2007 co-hosts and group stage contestants Malaysia.

The qualifiers will commence in February 2013.

The Groupings:

Group A





Group B





Group C



Saudi Arabia


Group D





Group E




Hong Kong


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A-League 'should stop' for Asian Cup

October 10, 2012 Michael Lynch


The AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 logo is unveiled during the preliminary draw and logo launch in Melbourne yesterday. Photo: Getty Images

AUSTRALIA'S Asian Cup organisers have yet to make critical decisions over match venues in hosting cities for the tournament, which kicks off in January 2015, but they would like the A-League to go into a temporary shutdown for at least part of the three-week competition.

Michael Brown, the chief executive of the Local Organising Committee, yesterday said the tournament, which will pit 15 of Asia's top soccer nations against hosts Australia, would likely prosper more if it wasn't competing against domestic matches.

The Asian Cup is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and organisers say it will showcase Australia and its soccer industry to a potential television audience of 2.5 billion.

It will cost some $75 million to stage, with the bulk of the cash - $61 million - coming from federal and state governments in a 50/50 split. The rest is expected to be generated by ticket sales to a cumulative audience of around 500,000, a minimum figure organisers expect.

Sydney will stage the final, the semi-finals, the third-place play-off and a quarter-final. Melbourne will stage the opening game and could host the Socceroos if they make it to the quarter-final. Sydney gets the lion's share of critical games for two reasons - one financial, the other strategic.

The New South Wales government is investing more money in the tournament than other state governments on the eastern seaboard (Victoria, Queensland and the ACT), and finals matches are its reward.

In addition, Brown said: ''Melbourne is very busy at that time of the year with the Australian Open tennis being staged and the singles finals will clash with the Asian Cup final on January 31. But the opening game, on January 8, will be played there as well as six other group stage matches.''

But he added these were only proposals and were awaiting final ratification by the Asian Cup Executive Committee next year.

Brown and his deputy Shane Harmon were at pains to point out that they were not advocating a shortening of the A-League season to accommodate the tournament, merely the creation of some clear air for it to capture the public's imagination.

''The two potential solutions are that we continue the A-League in centres which are not hosting games [Adelaide, Perth, Wellington, Newcastle, Gosford] or have a two- or three-week mid-season break,'' Harmon said.

Brown added the Socceroos could field several players from A-League sides, which could be disadvantaged if they had to play through the Asian Cup against rivals lacking international representatives.

South Australia and Western Australia will not host any Asian Cup matches because at the time the bid was being put together in 2010, their respective state governments did not want to invest in the project.

But they will host several training camps for the competing 16 countries while warm-up matches will be played in Adelaide and Perth.

Brown also revealed that no decision had been made where the Melbourne matches would be staged, with the organisers trying to balance financial considerations with appropriate size and use, considering that the Socceroos would at best be involved in only two of the seven matches slotted for the Victorian capital (a group phase match and potentially a quarter-final).

The choice lies between Etihad Stadium, which boasts larger capacity, and AAMI Park, which would be a more appropriate size for a fixture pitting a nation like North Korea against Jordan, for example.

''We have had talks with both Melbourne venues,'' Brown said. ''It's about getting the best fit and the best venue for the best deal.''


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Asian Cup 2015 venues and schedule announced

Wednesday, 27 March 2013 10:02 AM
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 Local Organising Committee (LOC) today unveiled the match schedule and host venues for the 2015 competition.
The competition will kick off in Melbourne on January 9, 2015 with an opening ceremony and Socceroos match at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium and will culminate in the Final at Sydney’s Stadium Australia on January 31, 2015.
The other three competition venues are Brisbane Stadium at Milton, Canberra Stadium in the ACT and Newcastle Stadium in NSW.
LOC Chief Executive Officer Michael Brown said today’s announcements marked a significant milestone in the planning of AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015.
“The Asian Cup in Australia will be a three week, 32 match festival of football culminating in the Final at Stadium Australia on January 31,” Brown said.
“We are pleased to have now locked in five top class venues for the competition and finalised the match schedule.
“This will allow the detailed planning for the event to progress on schedule to ensure Asian Cup Australia 2015 is a world-class event and maintains Australia’s international reputation as a great host for the world’s best sporting contests.”
Brown said the Socceroos qualifying games would be played in Melbourne on January 9, 2015; Sydney on January 13, 2015; and Brisbane on January 17, 2015.
“The four Quarter Finals will be played on January 22 and 23, 2015 and we are very excited that on Australia Day 2015 the first Semi Final will be played at Stadium Australia.
“The second Semi Final will be played in Newcastle on January 27, 2015 and the city will also host the 3rd v 4th play-off on January 30, 2015.”
AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 is being jointly-funded by the Australian Government and the Queensland, NSW, ACT and Victorian Governments.
Federal Minister for Sport Kate Lundy said the Gillard Government was working in partnership with the Local Organising Committee as Australia prepares to host the Asian Cup – the region’s premier sporting event.
“The Asian Cup offers a unique opportunity to showcase Australia as a world-class host for major sporting events and as an attractive tourist destination,” Lundy said.
“The spin-off from the Cup will be enormous for Australia with a global TV audience of more than 2.5 billion people expected and an estimated 45,000 international visitors set to visit our shores.”
NSW Minister for Sport Graham Annesley welcomed the announcement that Sydney and Newcastle would host a key Semi Final and Final match.
“The staging of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup in Australia is just reward for the growth of football in this country,” Annesley said.
“Successive FIFA World Cup campaigns have positioned Australia on the world football stage, and I’m confident both Stadium Australia and Newcastle Stadium will ensure fans experience and enjoy these world class facilities during the Asian Cup.”
Victorian Minister for Sport Hugh Delahunty said: “I am delighted the event's Opening Ceremony and Opening Match featuring the Socceroos will be held at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium in Melbourne on 9 January 2015.
“Melbourne Rectangular Stadium is a world class, award winning, purpose-built stadium with fantastic turf that the players will love and where the fans can get up close to the action.
“'I look forward to welcoming visitors to Melbourne and Victoria for this highly anticipated event.”
Queensland Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Jann Stuckey, said Queenslanders were looking forward to the benefits and exposure the tournament would bring to the state.
“An event the size of the Asian Cup has a tremendous impact, and I know that Brisbane 2015 will be memorable for spectators and competitors alike,” Stuckey said.
“The number of Asian tourists visiting Queensland has increased markedly during recent years, and the event will provide an opportunity to build on that by showcasing what our wonderful state has to offer.”
ACT Minister for Sport Andrew Barr said the ACT Government was proud to be working with Victoria, Queensland, NSW, the Federal Government and the AFC Asian Cup 2015 Local Organising Committee to host this exciting event and showcase Australia to Asia and the world.
“I’m delighted that football fans in Canberra and the capital region will have the chance to see some of the world’s best players and international teams in action.
“Canberra Stadium has a proven track record of hosting high-quality fixtures, including Olympic football, Rugby World Cup and Rugby League World Cup matches. Likewise Canberra will be a great venue for travelling fans, who will have the chance to see the unique attractions of the nation’s capital.”
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Australia 2015 flag flies at the top of the world

Published on Thursday, 25 April 2013 11:53
Photo: Australia 2015 LOC
Sydney: An AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 flag has been unfurled at the top of the world, with Local Organising Committee Director Cheryl Bart AO completing the impressive feat this week.
Bart’s quest to the North Pole completed her “Explorer’s Grand Slam” – climbing the highest peaks on every continent and the three poles (North, South and Everest).
AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 Local Organising Committee Chief Executive Officer Michael Brown said Bart was always working hard and when she reached the North Pole she unfurled an Asian Cup flag.
“A huge congratulations to Cheryl on her amazing efforts,” Brown said.
“The Asian Cup LOC is delighted she was able to share her moment with us, ensuring the Asian Cup too reached ‘the top of the world’.
“Cheryl is passionate about her role on the Asian Cup LOC Board and about raising awareness of the event wherever she travels.
“We look forward to hearing all about her adventures when she returns.”
Before she left Bart said the challenge and the privilege of being in the extraordinary places had driven her on in her quest to complete the Grand Slam.
Bart is an accomplished business person and as well as her role with the Asian Cup, is the Chairman of ANZ Trustees Ltd, the South Australian Film Corporation, The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
She is also a non-executive Director on the board of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Spark Infrastructure, Audio Pixel Holdings Ltd and ETSA Utilities.
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Asian Cup 2015 draw mechanism revealed

Kuala Lumpur: The draw mechanism for the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 to be held at the Sydney Opera House on March 26 has been announced.
The draw for the 16 team-tournament, will feature 15 confirmed sides, with the winner of the AFC Challenge Cup 2014, which takes place in the Maldives in May, making up the final participant.
The teams who booked their place in the AFC Asian Cup 2015 draw via the qualifying campaign are: Oman, Bahrain, Iran, UAE, Saudi Arabia (all group winners) Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Uzbekistan, Iraq (all group runners-up) and China, who emerged as the best third-place finisher amongst the five groups.
Defending champions Japan, Asian Cup 2015 hosts Australia, and Korea Republic received direct entry to the finals by finishing first, second and third respectively at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup in Qatar, while DPR Korea sealed their place courtesy of victory in the AFC Challenge Cup 2012.
The 16 teams will be divided into four groups of four teams, with each group playing a one-round league.
There will be four country pots with hosts Australia occupying the A1 position of Pot 1 and the rest of the countries getting their respective positions based on FIFA Ranking announced on 13 March 2014.
The first four top-rank countries will be slotted in Pot 1 and the rest will be slotted in Pot 2, 3 and 4 respectively.
The seedings are as follows:
Pot 1 (teams ranked 1-4): Australia, Iran, Japan, Uzbekistan
Pot 2 (teams ranked 5-8): Korea Republic, UAE, Jordan, Saudi Arabia
Pot 3 (teams ranked 9-12): Oman, China, Qatar, Iraq
Pot 4 (teams ranked 13-16): Bahrain, Kuwait, DPR Korea and Challenge Cup 2014 winners.
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02 April 2014 Doug Conway

Family-friendly ticket prices will enable kids to watch Asia’s best footballers next summer for as little as $5, and families from just $40, at Australia’s biggest ever football tournament, AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015.

Other highlights of the ticket prices, announced on Wednesday, include:

• Opening ceremony and Australia v Kuwait match from $69 per adult

• Other Socceroos group matches from $49 per adult

• Quarter-finals from $29 per adult

• Semi-finals from $49 per adult

• Final from $79 per adult

No ticket will cost more than $149 – and that’s for the best seats in the house when the Socceroos kick off Asia’s biggest football tournament against Kuwait in Melbourne on January 9, and for top seats at the final at Sydney’s Stadium Australia on January 31.

“At the height of summer, with school holidays in full swing, and with such attractive prices, we look forward to welcoming tens of thousands of Australian families – not just those inside the traditional football family,” said Michael Brown, CEO of the tournament’s Local Organising Committee.

“This will be a festival of football never seen before in Australia, featuring our own Socceroos battling the best 16 teams in Asia, including Asia’s three other World Cup finalists in Japan, South Korea and Iran.

“We have deliberately kept prices affordable for families and those in multicultural communities who will be keen to attend multiple matches.”

Venue packs offer football fans discounts to attend every match in each of the five host cities – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle.

Venue packs start from $99 for all four matches in Newcastle, including a semi-final and the third place play-off, $109 for all seven matches in Canberra, $139 for all seven matches in Brisbane, $159 for all seven games in Melbourne and $229 for all seven matches in Sydney, which includes one semi and the final.

Even the most expensive Category One tickets offer tremendous value - $149 for the final, $149 for the opening match, $99 for other Socceroos group matches, $99 for a semi-final, $69 for a quarter-final and $30 for a non-Socceroos group match.

Kids and concession holders can watch the final for just $39.50, semi-finals for $24.50, quarter-finals for $14.50 and non-Socceroos group matches for just $5.

Tickets will go on sale in two periods.

The first phase is for venue packs on May 7 for the football family and May 19 for the general public.

The second phase is for individual tickets on May 27 for the football family and June 2 for the general public.

The AFC Asian Cup is Asia’s biggest football competition and was established in 1956.

Fifteen nations have already qualified – Australia as hosts, defending champions Japan, Korea Republic and 2012 AFC Challenge Cup winners DPR Korea, along with Bahrain, China, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan.

The final spot will go to the winner of the AFC Challenge Cup for emerging nations in May.

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Consortium involved in Beijing 2008 Opening Ceremony to produce 2015 Asian Cup opener

A consortium of sport event specialists Twenty3 Sport + Entertainment and creative technology firm Spinifex Group will produce the Opening Ceremony of the 2015 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup.

Local Organising Committee (LOC) chief ececutive Michael Brown announced the appointment after what has been described as a "competitive" tender process.

The consortium will also produce "other creative elements of the tournament".

It has previously worked on the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics, as well as events closer to home, including the Austrian Open tennis tournament.

"Co-ordinating and delivering the various creative and activation elements of the tournament across five cities is no small task, however the Twenty3-Spinifex team have the experience and skill needed to bring the AFC Asian Cup to life off the pitch," said Brown.

John Tripodi, head of the Twenty3-Spinifex consortium, said: "We're delighted to have been selected to work with the LOC on an event presentation strategy and delivering a football experience with a difference to local Australian fans and those fans visiting our shores from across Asia.

"It was very pleasing to learn that we share the LOC's vision to deliver key off-the-field components of the tournament, from the opening ceremony to spectator activations, with the football fan at the heart of all activities."

The Opening Ceremony will be staged at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium immediately before the opening game, which sees the Socceroos take on Kuwait on January 9.

Sydney's Stadium Australia is set to host the final on January 31.



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