|KUALA LUMPUR: Asia’s most prestigious football competition is fast approaching as the 16th edition of the AFC Asian Cup is set to kick off when hosts Australia play Kuwait at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on January 9, 2015.
With only a few months to go before Asia’s top 16 teams vie for glory, the AFC has organised the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 Team Workshop in Kuala Lumpur in order to deliver relevant organisational information to the participating teams.
In the same event, AFC’s long-time partners Nike who has designed a special ball for the tournament, also unveiled the official competition ball marking another milestone in the build-up to the competition. The first official ball was presented to AFC Vice-President His Royal Highness Prince Abdullah Ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah.
The ball, which will be used during all 32 matches of the competition, was also presented to each participating teams.
According to HRH Prince Abdullah, the handover marks another step closer towards what is set to be one of Asia’s most intriguing football competitions yet.
“The Asian Cup is a highly prestigious tournament which we started 58 years ago in 1956. I hope you will enjoy the tournament, our festival of football in Asia. It’s like the World Cup for Asia and taking part in it is a matter of pride for the teams,” he said.
The AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 Team Workshop was also officially opened on September 30 by HRH Prince Abdullah, who is also Chairman of the AFC Asian Cup 2015 Organising Committee. Also attending the workshop was the Australian Local Organising Committee Chief Executive Officer, Michael Brown.
The two-day Team Workshop included briefings to team managers, doctors and officials on relevant matters such as sports integrity, refereeing, media, team services as well as medical information, among others. There was also a briefing on AFC’s 60 minutes campaign which aims to increase the amount of actual playing time in AFC competitions by encouraging players and coaches to avoid using time-wasting tactics.
Dato’ Alex Soosay, AFC General Secretary, mentioned that organising the Team Workshop is a must prior to the competition as it ensures that all teams, especially those behind the scenes making the necessary arrangements, are well prepared for the competition.
“I am glad that all teams participated well in the workshop, which was successfully held, and I can see that all 16 nations are raring to go” said Dato’ Alex.