NSW Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister Assisting the Premier on Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said China‘s national football team’s decision to use Campbelltown as the base for its 2015 AFC Asian Cup campaign is a great result for the area.
“I’m delighted to announce Campbelltown is the first site in NSW which a visiting team will use for training prior to taking part in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup,” said Mr Ayres.
15 teams will join Australia in challenging for the Asian Cup, and many will choose local training bases to acclimatise to the Australian summer and to prepare for the 23 day tournament which features some tough match-ups.
The Chinese Football Association and Campbelltown Sports Stadium have signed agreements for the team to do its pre-tournament training from 29 December to 5 January.
“Campbelltown is a great location and has fantastic facilities for the team, the support staff and the large media contingent that will be following them. It is fantastic that the Council has secured this opportunity to have such a high profile team here in Western Sydney. It will be a real boost to local businesses providing goods and services to the supporters who will travel to watch their team prepare,” said Mr Ayres.
“Sydney and NSW are renowned globally for staging the biggest and best major sporting events in Australia, so we’re looking forward to welcoming visitors and players to experience our world-class sporting facilities,” added Mr Ayres.
Brian Doyle MP, Member for Campbelltown, said the people of Campbelltown love sport and will adopt this new ‘local’ team for the duration of the tournament and support them enthusiastically.
“The Asian Cup is another example of the NSW Government, through our tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, delivering on its commitment to position the State as the major events capital of Australia,” stated Mr Doyle.
AFC Asian Cup Australia Local Organising Committee Chief Operating Officer Mark Falvo welcomed the news that Campbelltown would host China.
“The LOC wanted to ensure the Asian Cup brought benefits to areas away from the main competition venues and team hotels, which is why we developed the Pre-Competition Camp program,” Mr Falvo said.
“Allowing Campbelltown and Western Sydney to share in the benefits of hosting such a significant international event brings great recognition to the area.”
The Asian Cup, one of the biggest events on the international football calendar, will be hosted by Australia in 2015. More than 45,000 international visitors are expected to watch games to be played in Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra.
15 nations have already qualified for AFC Asian Cup 2015 – Australia as hosts, defending champions Japan, South Korea and North Korea, China, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Uzbekistan. The final qualifier will be decided later this month.