SYDNEY 6th Mar – Organisers of AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 have welcomed China’s success in qualifying for Asia’s biggest single-sport event and the biggest football tournament to be staged in Australia.
At the press conference in Chinatown in Sydney on Thursday, Michael Brown, CEO of the AFC Asian Cup Local Organising Committee expressed his sincere welcome to Chinese national football team.
“We congratulate China on qualifying and stretching its magnificent record of appearances in the AFC Asian Cup finals,” he said.
“I can assure all Chinese fans the warmest of Australian welcomes awaits their national team next summer, as it does for all 16 finalists.
“The Chinese have been central to Australia’s development as one of the most multi-cultural nations on earth, and we look forward to the vibrancy, passion and colour that China’s presence will bring to the 2015 Asian Cup.”
Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello welcomed the qualification of China as well. He told People’s Daily Online Australia, “I’ve spoken to a lot of members of the Chinese community who will be delighted that their team will play in Australia. It’s a great day for China, and it’s a great day for Australia.”
China secured a spot in its last qualifying match, losing 1-3 to Iraq but qualifying as the best third-placed team and thus extending its golden run of qualifying for 11 consecutive finals tournaments – a 100 percent record since joining the Asian Football Confederation in 1974.
Australia’s Asian Cup will have a potential TV reach of 2.5 billion people, with China’s presence. China has reached the Asian Cup semi-finals six times, and finished runner-up twice – to Saudi Arabia in 1984 and to Japan in 2004.
The 16 finalists will take part in a 23-day festival of football in five cities in Australia which the Socceroos will kick off on January 9, 2015, in Melbourne, with the final set for Sydney’s Stadium Australia on January 31, 2015. Tickets for AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 will be on sale in May 2014. (Ma Xiaolong / People’s Daily Online Australia)