Asian Cup raises $333,000 for flood victims

Ticket revenue from the Asian Cup semi-finals raised around $330,000 for flood victims in Australia, Sri Lanka and Thailand, competition organisers revealed today. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and Qatar Football Association (QFA) had earlier announced that money from ticket sales would go to help people affected by devastating floods in the three countries.

Tournament director Tokuaki Suzuki said organisers would now seek to transfer the money to an organisation capable of distributing it to victims. "There is an organisation for the flood victims and we will communicate with them to distribute the money," he said, without specifying the name of the organisation.

The Asian Cup semi-finals saw Japan beat South Korea 3-0 on penalties after a 2-2 draw following extra time, while Australia thrashed Uzbekistan 6-0. A joint statement by AFC president Mohamed Bin Hammam and QFA chief Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Ahmed Al Thani earlier this week said the flooding had been tragic.

"Our thoughts and wishes go to all those who suffer in our fellow Asian nations of Australia, Thailand and Sri Lanka, recently struck by flooding and national disasters," it said.

"It is the joint decision of the AFC, the QFA and the organising committee of the Asian Cup to offer the proceeds of the semi-final matches of the AFC Asian Cup to a disaster relief fund in order to help those affected. Our condolences are offered to those who have lost their loved ones during these tragic events."

Recent flooding across Australia has wrought unprecedented damage with at least 22 people dead, while more than one million people have been affected by monsoon floods in Sri Lanka, with some 43 people perishing. In Thailand, thousands of people were affected by floods in the south this month.