Asian Cup will give Australia respect: FFA

By James MacSmith, James MacSmith is a Roar Guru

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    Football Federation Australia (FFA) are confident a successfully staged Asian Cup can provide some vital political muscle to the organisation.

    The FFA were caught well and truly offside in November when the Asian Football Confederation cut Australia’s automatic qualifying spots for the Asian Champions League from two to just one.

    The surprise move prompted calls from two-time A-League championship winning coach Ange Postecoglou to boycott the AFC qualifying process.

    Regardless, the FFA is expected to have to work hard on and off the field to regain the lost spot.

    FFA chief executive Gallop, who was only two weeks into his new role when Australia lost their second AFC automatic qualifying spot, said the 2015 Asian Cup would provide the opportunity to do just that.

    “That loss of the Champions League spot took a lot of people by surprise and we need to do a lot of work to ensure our position in the AFC is recognised,” Gallop said at an event to mark two years before the Asian Cup begins.

    “We need to put ourselves in the position to ensure these sort of surprises don’t happen again.

    “It’s a matter of allocation resources to the issue and it is one of our priorities at the moment.”

    Asian Cup Organising committee chief executive Michael Brown said he was confident Australia’s hosting of the event would bring it closer to other countries in the region.

    “We are working closely with the Asian Football Confederation to ensure Australia hosts a world-class event which celebrates football and continues Australia’s reputation for sporting event excellence,” Brown said.

    “Our vision is to deliver a world-class event that celebrates Asia’s rich football culture and leaves an enduring legacy for the game in Australia.

    “This presents an outstanding opportunity for Australia to strengthen our cultural, social and economic ties with Asia, including some of our most important trading partners.

    “The Federal Government’s Asian Century White Paper acknowledged the power of sport to bridge language and cultural barriers and serve as a platform to build relationships.

    “It confirms that events like the Asian Cup offer opportunities for Australia to build on our international reputation for delivering major sporting events, and to promote Australian tourism, trade and other interests in Asia.”

    Australia, Japan, North Korea and South Korea have qualified for the 2015 Asian Cup, with qualifying for the remaining spots to begin on February 6 in Jordan.

    The final will be held at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium with the Socceroos to play each of their three pool matches in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

    The FFA are expecting expecting around 45,000 international visitors to come to Australia for the event and said that the 2011 event, in which Australia was defeated by Japan 1-0 in the final, was watched by 500 million people.

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    The Crowd Says (33)

    • January 10th 2013 @ 7:15am
      Lucan said | January 10th 2013 @ 7:15am | ! Report

      FFA need to work to also get this event simulcast on FTA television here, after foolishly awarding Foxtel exclusive rights.

      AC2015 needs to be in every Australian household. 50k punters in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney will be able to enjoy each game in person, but that leaves a lot of Australia in the dark for what should be an amazing few weeks.

      • January 10th 2013 @ 7:50am
        vinie said | January 10th 2013 @ 7:50am | ! Report

        the bigger worry is the ticket prices, lets see what the FFA come up with, if you break down a concert ticket and see where all the money goes i would say your looking at between $50-$200 for a ticket. expect to see alot of empty stadiums

        • January 10th 2013 @ 8:19am
          Kasey said | January 10th 2013 @ 8:19am | ! Report

          I dare say access to Socceroos tickets will be the biggest issue. IIRC at the time of the RWC hosted by Australia in 2003, the ARU took the not unreasonable step of linking access to Wallabies games to willingness to purchase tickets to other pool games. I’m sure I’ve heard somebody at FFA reference this as a very successful model for ensuring full stadiums throughout the tournament.

          • Roar Pro

            January 10th 2013 @ 11:01am
            albatross said | January 10th 2013 @ 11:01am | ! Report

            I am not sure that ticketing will be the major issue. It’s likely to be the heat. If we get a sustained heatwave like the one we are experiencing attendances are going to be the least of the worries.

            • January 10th 2013 @ 11:25am
              Ballymore said | January 10th 2013 @ 11:25am | ! Report

              Let air-condition the stadiums.

        • January 10th 2013 @ 11:11am
          nickoldschool said | January 10th 2013 @ 11:11am | ! Report

          Agree vinie, except that I would go way under $50 per ticket for a, say, mid-week Thailand v Oman game. In 2003, I got aud10-15 tickets for games such as Argentina v Romania or Boks v Georgia at the rwc. If we want the many Asian students, expats etc who live in Oz to support their teams we need to start at aud20 max. Same for the Aussie public tbh.

          I hope the FFA gets it right as overpriced tickets would mean all efforts that are currently made at promoting football in this country with the HAL would not be converted at international level. The world will be watching us here.

          • January 10th 2013 @ 2:34pm
            Dave said | January 10th 2013 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

            SFC did a promotion for the Wellington game last season where if you had a kiwi passport there was some big discount for a ticket (can’t remember exactly how much), but it was a great success. Wellington crowds had always been some of the smallest in my experience (including that finals match a few years ago), but this one got a pretty decent turn out. Definitely an idea for Asian cup tickets anyway…

      • Roar Guru

        January 10th 2013 @ 9:30am
        Fussball ist unser leben said | January 10th 2013 @ 9:30am | ! Report

        @ Lucan

        The FFA could NOT foolishly award any TV rights re:2015 Asian Cup to Foxtel, because the FFA never owned the rights in the 1st place.

        All TV rights relating to events organised by the AFC are originally owned by the AFC & only the AFC can sell these TV rights to broadcasters.

        In 2010, the AFC sold the TV rights to all AFC events held between 2013 & 2020 to global sports marketing company, World Sports Group (WSG) for US$1 billion. The contract covers every football match organised by AFC: junior, senior, Olympic qualifiers, men, women, outdoor, indoor, beach.

        Every Member Association of the AFC receives a payment – from the AFC, not from WSG – of US$1m/ match. I’m not sure if this US$1m payment is for every match played by an AUS NT, or just matches played by the senior men’s AUS NT.

        • January 10th 2013 @ 10:47am
          Qantas supports Australian Football said | January 10th 2013 @ 10:47am | ! Report

          I’m assuming that, the matches involving Australia will be placed on the anti-siphoning list, therefore, those matches will be seen live on FTA???? Or was that overruled by the new TV-Fox deal and what of SBS’s involvement—I was under the impression the matches will be shown live on the SBS network—or on delay?

          • Roar Guru

            January 10th 2013 @ 11:05am
            Fussball ist unser leben said | January 10th 2013 @ 11:05am | ! Report

            QsAF

            Details about the 2015 broadcast have been scant.

            It all depends upon the nature of the contract between WSG & FoxSports – i.e. is it an exclusive rights Tv deal, or does it allow FoxSports to onsell Tv rights to other broadcasters, or will other broadcasters have to deal directly with WSG.

            I wouldn’t be surprised if SBS does also broadcast all the AUS matches LIVE – either through an arrangement with Foxtel or by directly contracting with WSG.

            • January 11th 2013 @ 7:50am
              Lucan said | January 11th 2013 @ 7:50am | ! Report

              When we saw the new TV deal press conference/release, AC2015 was specifically included in these details.

              Wouldn’t it be wrong to claim this as part of the FFA/Fox/SBS deal if it has nothing to do with the FFA?

              • Roar Guru

                January 11th 2013 @ 8:24am
                Fussball ist unser leben said | January 11th 2013 @ 8:24am | ! Report

                @Lucan

                I’ve read through the media statement in the past, and again today, and there is no comment made about the Asian Cup being part of the deal.

                In fact, during the presser, Foxtel also said: “we’ll continue to deliver the most comprehensive and entertaining coverage for fans through our live and high definition coverage of the Socceroos, A-League, and Barclays Premier League, plus our weekly magazine lineup of Kick Off, Matchday Saturday and Sunday Shootout”.

                So, basically, the presser was:
                a) FFA telling us there’s a new TV deal for the A-League;
                b) Foxtel telling us they’ve got a wide portfolio of football products;
                c) SBS telling us they’re getting involved with A-League, will continue involvement with UCL & will have exclusive rights to the FIFA WC tournaments until 2022.

                The devil is always in the detail.

    • January 10th 2013 @ 7:48am
      vinie said | January 10th 2013 @ 7:48am | ! Report

      David the respect is already there, its just the a-league is different to all the other leagues in asia and the world, 9 teams and a borrowed team from new zealand, and you ask why we dont have 3 ACL spots? youve got to be kidding

      we’ve been asked to remove the new zealand team and we fight it, we’ve been asked to have a promotion relegation system, and we dont have the resources to do it. There’s your answer

    • January 10th 2013 @ 8:25am
      Vesh said | January 10th 2013 @ 8:25am | ! Report

      Hard to think anyone should be surprised losing the ACL spot.

      The FFA were given a series of guidelines to meet and failed and therefore the spot is gone

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/the-roar/id327174726?mt=8].

      • January 10th 2013 @ 8:29am
        Kasey said | January 10th 2013 @ 8:29am | ! Report

        Yes it matters not to the AFC that the guidelines were unfeasible in our country.

        Pro/rel is a pipedream. I can’t ever see it working here.
        The cup comp is something we can and should achieve and I think adding the 4 million people of NZ to our geographic spread helps make the long term future of the HAL more viable. We are but a 22 million strong population, spread out over a landmass bigger than Europe. I think iin the long run we might even see a 2nd NZ team (from Auckland) join the league.

        • January 10th 2013 @ 9:27am
          MV Dave said | January 10th 2013 @ 9:27am | ! Report

          Spot on Kasey.
          Looking forward to the tournament and will be watching games in Melbourne including the Socceroos opener, hopefully. It will be difficult to gain the attention of the whole country with so much going on at that time eg Cricket and Tennis, but there is still plenty of time. What is needed more than anything is a Socceroos run to the final.

      • Roar Pro

        January 10th 2013 @ 10:46am
        albatross said | January 10th 2013 @ 10:46am | ! Report

        I for one look forward to the day when a franchise and its owners (not to mention the fans) are punished for poor performance on the field (eg Adelaide United in v5.0) and a club like Morwell Falcons can have their day in the sun once again.

        If a joke league like Qatar can have four places in the ACL perhaps they should open it up to all comers and have a home and away KO comp.

        • January 10th 2013 @ 4:40pm
          mahonjt said | January 10th 2013 @ 4:40pm | ! Report

          Albatross – indeed ou are. Football has moved on fortunately and our view of Qatar is not inormed by facts – just emotion.

    • January 10th 2013 @ 10:23am
      Brian said | January 10th 2013 @ 10:23am | ! Report

      UEFA hand out spots based on club results in the preceding 5 years leading to the European coefficient rankings.

      Can the FFA not suggest that the AFC do the same. Surely places should be determined via on-field results rather than back room politics.

      • January 10th 2013 @ 11:18am
        Qantas supports Australian Football said | January 10th 2013 @ 11:18am | ! Report

        The Welsh FA have UCL representatives from their WFA league.. Also Cardith an Swansea FC play in the Engish FA and if they can make UCL cut in the EPL they would also be elegible to participate. Definately room for debate with the AFC..

        • January 10th 2013 @ 12:08pm
          Kasey said | January 10th 2013 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

          QSAF the main difference in the situation is that both Wales and England are in the same confederation(UEFA).
          A similar situation exists with Canadian teams in MLS(CONCACAF)
          New Zealand is in OFC we are in AFC, not much correspondence to be entered into there I think.
          Agree or disagree, AFC have made their position clear. Save for the disbanding of OFC or NZ joining AFC, comparing Cardiff City and Swansea to Wellnix is a flawed comparison. As far as AFC are concerned we only have 9 teams in our league.

          • Roar Guru

            January 10th 2013 @ 9:48pm
            Peter Wilson said | January 10th 2013 @ 9:48pm | ! Report

            What about NSW and Qld teams in a Victorian AFL competition?

            • January 11th 2013 @ 8:11am
              Kasey said | January 11th 2013 @ 8:11am | ! Report

              All goverened by the same overseeing body from a bunker underneath Docklands. Victorians are special, but to my knowledge they have yet to claim seperatist status as an Autonomous region like the Basques or the Quebeckers and the Catalans etc. WA to my knowledge are the only statein AU to have had a serious attempt to succede from the Commonwealth.

      • January 10th 2013 @ 11:19am
        AGO74 said | January 10th 2013 @ 11:19am | ! Report

        Back room politics is exactly why the AFC has this subjective criteria.

        As it is, I’m not too worried. 1.5 spots for 10 teams is ok. Let’s face it, if our half spot team can’t beat a club from Thailand, Indonesia etc then they realistically don’t deserve to compete in the Champions League. Some will interpret that as being disparaging to the likes of those mentioned but the reality is we should beat them.

      • January 10th 2013 @ 4:45pm
        mahonjt said | January 10th 2013 @ 4:45pm | ! Report

        No. The AFC cannot be compared to UEFA. We use the top flight club football competition in the region to do the same thing that all other AFC strategies are aimed at – developing football in Asia. It is reasonable therefore that criteria based upon league development be used in Asia and not in Europe. What is not reasonable, is politics that applies these criteria poorly.

        There is no evidence that the AFC have treated us unfairly in terms of the criteria, but a prime face case that it did not handle the transition well at all. Many A-League fans were understanding of the reduction, but not of how it was handled – in particular Perth fans who were disadvantaged.

        Finally, as to the hysteria about Qatar – I ask those critical of the 4 places they have been given to forget the World Cup decision (although it still hurts) and simply apply the AFC criteria. If you do so you will understand why Qatar has been rewarded.

    • January 10th 2013 @ 12:12pm
      Cam said | January 10th 2013 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

      Not a fan of Sydney having two venues and hosting the Final, Semis and 3rd place.

      Australia is hosting this tournament right?

      Spread the love.

      • January 10th 2013 @ 4:47pm
        mahonjt said | January 10th 2013 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

        This I agree with as Sydney born, Melbourne living footbal fan. Time and time again Sydney dissapoint the Socceroos – Melbourne never does. But if the NSW Government provided more support (which I dont know) then that is fair enough.

        • Roar Guru

          January 10th 2013 @ 9:41pm
          Peter Wilson said | January 10th 2013 @ 9:41pm | ! Report

          The Federal govt, NSW, QLD, Vic and ACT govts are all underwriting the tournament to the tune of $61M.
          And under the agreement with WSG the FFA get $1M per game or $56M for the tournament and then add the advertising rights, sponsorships, merchandise etc etc.

          The FFA are not going to lose money, so ticket prices are not going to be exorbitant. In fact there will be plenty of good deals especially for overseas visitors and lower ranked nation’s games.

          The objective is to put on the “best games ever”, boost Australia’s standing in the AFC and promote Australia’s relationship and trade with the rest of Asia.

          The Asian Cup is the 3rd most watched football tournament in the world with 500M watching the last one in Qatar 2011, so they don’t want to play to empty stadiums by ripping people off – just don’t expect Socceroos games or the final to be too heavily discounted.

    • Roar Pro

      January 11th 2013 @ 8:52am
      albatross said | January 11th 2013 @ 8:52am | ! Report

      >>>The Asian Cup is the 3rd most watched football tournament in the world with 500M watching the last one in Qatar 2011

      Just not all that many watching the games live at the grounds

      • January 11th 2013 @ 9:09am
        Punter said | January 11th 2013 @ 9:09am | ! Report

        I think you will be surprised.

      • January 11th 2013 @ 9:23am
        Brick Tamlin of the Pants Party said | January 11th 2013 @ 9:23am | ! Report

        Yeah i wouldn’t use Qatar as a gauge of how good our Asian Cup will be.There are more people who are fans and directly involved in football in Australia than the whole population of Qatar.Of course you will have games which won’t attract a crowd but look at the recent Union world cup there were games involving the likes of Romania which would only attract 12k or so.Though of course if Oman v Bahrain doesn’t get over 20,000 people will be quick to call the event a failure.

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