Australia to host 2015 AFC Asian Cup
Australia was confirmed as the host nation of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup finals today after its uncontested bid was rubberstamped by the Asian Football Confederation's executive committee.
"Today the AFC met and decided Australia would be the host nation for the 2015 Asian Cup," AFC president Mohamad bin Hammam said at a press conference in Doha.
"We considered all the achievments made in Australia towards the development of football and to encourage the next step in developing the game, we are happy to announce the AFC has approved Australia to host the 2015 Asian Cup."
Football Federation Australia was the sole bidder for the event but still had to adhere to the formal bidding process by making its final presentation to the AFC's executive committee.
Bin Hammam said he was confident Australia would host a top-class tournament in 2015. "The AFC is happy that all the promises Australia has made will be met in good time," he said. "We have much interest in seeing the game develop even more in Australia and this is a part of that."
Football Federation of Australia chairman Frank Lowy said his country had plenty of experience of hosting big events and the government was fully behind the bid. "We are delighted that you, Mr President, and your executive committee decided to award the hosting of the 2015 Asian Cup to Australia," he said.
"We will do the best possible job for the AFC and for Australia. The Australian nation will be on show not just on the field but also off the field. The people of Australia, the government of Australia are ready and able to host the Cup and ensure that football advances throughout Asia through the efforts of Australia."
The tournament is planned for January 2015 and will feature the 16 top teams in Asia with matches to be played at four or five selected venues. Those will be chosen from an initial eight stadiums put forward by Australia's bid team.
These include Sydney's ANZ Stadium, Sydney Football Stadium and Parramatta Stadium, Melbourne's Etihad Stadium and AAMI Park, Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium, Gold Coast's Skilled Park and Canberra Stadium.