Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop Says Asian Cup Will Be An 'Eye-Opener'
Hosting the 2015 Asian Cup "will not be a cash-cow event" for Football Federation Australia, but CEO David Gallop said that the greatest benefit of hosting the continental championship lies in the strengthening of regional ties beyond the game, according to Dominic Bossi of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Early forecasts by the Local Organizing Committee predict that it "will break even from hosting the tournament with other benefits to tourism as more than 45,000 foreign spectators are expected to attend." Though, Gallop said that the event "has the ability to become the platform for stronger commercial and trade relationships between Australia and Asia as it will have a broadcast reach to 2.5 billion throughout the region." Gallop: "I think the Asian Cup is going to be an eye-opener for a lot of people in Australia. This will be an insight into what's happening on the planet which is that Asia is getting bigger and bigger and more importantly, economically, socially and politically and football will be the bridge into Asia. The tournament itself will be high quality and I think it will be a shock to a lot of people about the size of football in Asia." The tournament will begin on Jan. 9 at AAMI Park in Melbourne with the Socceroos playing in the opening match and will conclude on Jan. 31 with ANZ Stadium in Sydney hosting the final. Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle are the other host cities (SMH, 8/27).