Asian Cup 2015 launches multicultural event

The AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 Local Organising Committee (LOC) launched a program to engage Melbourne’s multicultural communities.

The AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 Local Organising Committee (LOC) today launched a program to engage Melbourne-s multicultural communities ahead of the tournament in 2015.

LOC Chief Executive Officer, Michael Brown said the Asian Cup 2015 Communities program was developed to make the tournament accessible to all Australians.

“The strength of football in Australia is its ability to engage people of all backgrounds,” Mr Brown said.

“AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 is the biggest football tournament this country has ever hosted. For the football-loving communities from around the world that live in Australia this is an unprecedented opportunity to see world class football in our backyard.

“As the biggest sporting event in Asia, the Asian Cup will be a particularly special event for the 2 million people of Asian descent living in Australia.

“Our goal is to make AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 a celebration of football and a celebration of multiculturalism in Australia.”

Victorian Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Nicholas Kotsiras said sport was often praised for its capacity to bring people together and that football did so like no other on the international stage.

“The upcoming World Cup qualifier between Australia and Jordan promises to unite people from a variety of different backgrounds who share a love of a game which is played in a competitive spirit but is importantly, underpinned by mutual respect,” Minister Kotsiras said.

“The Asian Cup 2015 aims to bring people together from different communities who share this passion, while at the same time building on our already strong links with the Asia-Pacific region.

“Soccer is a sport which is popularly embraced around the world. Our Socceroos certainly reflect our nation's multicultural diversity, which I am sure will increase further into the future.”

Minister for Sport Hugh Delahunty said the Victorian Government was proud to host a major international sporting event that celebrated multicultural initiatives like the Asian Cup 2015 Communities program.

“Major events like the Asian Cup 2015 not only help turn the spotlight on Victoria and the best of football, but offer great opportunities to bring people together from all walks of life,” Mr Delahunty said.

The Asian Cup 2015 Communities program aims to engage multicultural communities in football and the AFC Asian Cup through three key activities in 2013. 1. Community events: The LOC will participate in a range of multicultural community events and festivals. 2. Media: The LOC will partner with multicultural media organisations. 3. Community Ambassadors: The LOC will appoint official community ambassadors from multicultural communities.

Mr Brown said the LOC was seeking input on how the event could be used to strengthen social and business ties both domestically and with Asia.

“I encourage community and business leaders to work with us in exploring opportunities to use the AFC Asian Cup to build links at home and abroad.”

The AFC Asian Cup is the pinnacle for the 47 nations of the Asian Football Confederation. Australia, Japan, Korean Republic and DPR Korea have already qualified for Australia 2015. Qualifying for the remaining 12 positions is currently underway.

AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 will be held played in Sydney, Brisbane, Newcastle, Canberra and at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium. The tournament is being jointly-funded by the Australian Government and the Victorian, Queensland, NSW, and ACT Governments.