Sydney's Olympic Stadium "will host the final of the 2015 Asian Cup, with Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle the other cities hosting matches," according to AFP. The region's premier football tournament will take place from Jan. 9-31, and "will feature 32 games with Japan defending the title" it won in Qatar in '11. While Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra will each host six group games and a quarterfinal, Newcastle nabbed one of the two semifinals alongside Sydney. Newcastle's Hunter Stadium, a two-hour drive north of Sydney which has a capacity of 33,000, will also be home to the third-place playoff as well as four group matches (AFP, 3/27). In Sydney, Lee Gaskin reported at least 10 of the 16 teams "will feature in the six pool games in Canberra to be held in a hectic 11-day block" from Jan. 10-20. Australia, Japan, North Korea and South Korea "have qualified for the 2015 Asian Cup, with qualifying for the remaining spots still to be confirmed" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 3/27).
Events and Attractions
The Asian athletics championship, originally allotted to Chennai, "is likely to be held in Ranchi at its new stadium" (THE HINDU, 3/27). ... The Australian PGA Championship will be played on Queensland’s Gold Coast at the Royal Pines in November. The tournament is "moving from its regular spot" as one of the final events of the PGA Tour of Australasia and the OneAsia seasons to its new venue from Nov. 7-10 to attract a quality field of players (AFP, 3/27). ... Three endurance rides will be held as part of the inaugural two-day Abu Dhabi Endurance Festival starting from Thursday at the Emirates Int'l Endurance Village in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi (GULF NEWS, 3/27). ... The Pakistan Cricket Board "has again formally requested" Cricket South Africa to send its team to Pakistan for the Test and one-day series in October-November this year (PAKISTAN TODAY, 3/27).