Australia bids to host AFC Asian Cup 2015

Australia on Thursday formally lodged its bid to host the Asian Cup 2015 finals, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced.

AFC president Mohamed Bin Hammam received the bid book for the confederation's flagship tournament from Football Federation of Australia (FFA) chairman Frank Lowy at a ceremony at AFC House in Kuala Lumpur.

"It has been a win-win situation for the AFC and FFA since Australia joined the AFC in 2006. Now we are all reaping the benefits of this association," bin Hammam said. "I assure them that their bid will have my recommendation when it goes before the AFC Executive Committee," he added.

Australia is the only candidate to bid for the 16th edition of the AFC's top tournament for national teams.  "We at the FFA are dedicated, honoured and privileged to make AFC Asian Cup bigger, better and more successful than the previous editions," Lowy said in a statement. "It's my honour to present the bid book and I can tell you that Australia is excited to host this event at all levels, sporting, government and the general public."

Lowy said the AFC Asian Cup was the biggest sporting event in Asia and would be an excellent opportunity to showpiece Australia to Asia and the rest of the world. "FFA has undergone an exhaustive and highly detailed planning process, the results of which is included in a comprehensive Bid Book document containing some 350 pages of information about how Asia's largest sporting event would be conducted across Australia," he said.

"Australia has a long history of hosting fantastic sporting events and the benefits for Australia to host an event of this kind will not only leave a strong legacy for football in Australia, but also cement Australia's place in the Asian economic community."

The AFC Executive Committee is expected to make a decision on the hosting rights at its meeting next January on the sidelines of the AFC's Asian Cup Qatar 2011. Next year's tournament will take place in Doha, Qatar from 7-29 January. Australia are grouped with the Korea Republic, India and Bahrain.