AFC Asian Cup trophy set for host city tour

Football fans in Australia will receive a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see and be photographed with the AFC Asian Cup Trophy when its takes in all five AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 host cities in December.

The Trophy will be on public display in Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane between December 2 and 12, and will involve interactive football promotions for football fans of all ages.

The Australian leg of the international Trophy Tour is the final destination ahead of the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 which will be played from January 9-31.

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The Trophy Tour details are as follows, and all promotions will be staged between 10am and 12pm:

December 4:      Centenary Square (formerly Church St Mall), Parramatta

December 6:      Wheeler Place, Newcastle

December 8:      Federation Square, Melbourne

December 10:    Canberra Centre, Canberra

December 12:    Queen St Mall, Brisbane

The Trophy Tour commenced in China in September and will have travelled to Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Korea Republic and Japan before arriving in Sydney on December 2.

The Trophy Tour will unite AFC member countries and stir the passion of football fans among the 16 AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 finalists, plus football fans in Australia.

“The AFC Asian Cup is the oldest, largest and most prestigious football event in Asia, and the Trophy is one of the most coveted trophies in world sport. It has international stature and significance,” said AFC General Secretary, Dato' Alex Soosay.

“The Trophy is almost 50 years in age after Korea Republic won the inaugural AFC Asian Cup in Hong Kong in 1956.

“It is the first time the AFC Asian Cup has been played in Australia and the Trophy Tour is a wonderful way to celebrate and promote the event.”

CEO of the AFC Asian Cup Local Organising Committee, Michael Brown, said the Trophy Tour will involve colourful, interactive events which will be suitable for men and women, boys and girls of all ages.

“The Trophy Tour will allow fans to take photos with the AFC Asian Cup Trophy, meet and be photographed with past and present Socceroo greats, plus participate in active football drills as well as more sedentary games such as table foosball,” said Mr Brown.

“With the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 to kick-off one month later, the Trophy Tour is the perfect vehicle to galvanise Australian communities in support of the biggest, single football championship ever played in Australia.”

The 16 nations to qualify for AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 are Australia as hosts, defending champions Japan, Bahrain, China, DPR Korea, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Korea Republic, Kuwait, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan.

The tournament will kick-off on January 9, 2015 and includes 32 games of football in 23 days across Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle. The final is set for Sydney’s Stadium Australia on January 31, 2015.

The Socceroos play Japan on Tuesday 18th November in what will be their last hitout before Australia hosts the Asian Cup in January.

The match will be broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS 505 (FOX SPORTS 4HD & 4) from 9.00pm (AEDT).