Asian Cup Organizers Believe Event Will Succeed Despite Stiff Competition
The 2015 Asian Cup organizing committee believes that the tournament "will prove a hit with local sports fans and create a rich football legacy for Australia," according to Sebastian Hassett of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. However, the battle for public attention "will be fierce." The event will be held six months after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, one month before Australia co-hosts the Cricket World Cup and at the same time as the Australian Open tennis tournament. A Rugby World Cup will also start in September of that year. These events "might seem to be counting against the showcase's fight for attention," Asian Cup Local Organizing Committee CEO Michael Brown said that "it will capture the public's imagination." Brown even suggested that rather than going head-to-head with other events, they should "work together to build a summer tourism mecca." Brown said, "We want to connect with the Sydney Festival, we'll connect with the Cricket World Cup and the tennis in Melbourne. We want to add to what is a great time, in January, to be here. We want to showcase Australia to people who might not see it again" (SMH, 1/10).
CHINA QUALIFIERS: XINHUA reported two of the three home games of the Chinese football team's 2015 Asian Cup qualifiers "will be held in Shaanxi province, while the other one will be arranged in Changsha, Hunan province." China will meet Iraq in Changsha on March 22 and take on Indonesia and Saudi Arabia on Nov. 15 and 19, respectively (XINHUA, 1/9).