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Jan 09, 2014   |  2:00PM AET

VIDEO: One year until the Asian Cup

VIDEO: One year until the Asian Cup

Today marks one year until the AFC Asian Cup comes to Australia.

Today marks one year until the AFC Asian Cup comes to Australia.

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has called for Australians to come together in a united national effort one year ahead of Australia-s biggest ever football event, AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015.

As the count-down began on the final year of preparations, Postecoglou urged Australians to unite behind the Socceroos as well as the nation-s efforts to deliver a world class event.

“The Socceroos are the people-s team, and the Asian Cup is the people-s tournament,” he said.

“This is a chance for Australia to shine on and off the field.

“We are one of the most multicultural nations on earth, and for the first time we are hosting the top 16 teams in the world-s biggest region.

“First we have the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, then six months later we host the AFC Asian Cup. Australian football has never known a time quite as exciting as this.”

Michael Brown, CEO of the AFC Asian Cup Local Organising Committee, said the tournament was the biggest single-sport event in Asia.

“At this time next year the Asian Cup will be in full swing as the Socceroos kick off the tournament in Melbourne,” Mr Brown said.

“We want to give the warmest of welcomes to all of Asia-s top teams, and deliver a tournament that celebrates Asia-s rich football culture.

“It will be a summer festival of football never to forget – 32 matches in 23 days across our five host cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle.”

The Asian Cup will take place from January 9-31, 2015, in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle.

Twelve nations have already qualified – Australia as hosts, defending champions Japan, Korea Republic and 2012 AFC Challenge Cup winners DPR Korea, along with recent qualifiers Bahrain, Iran, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan

Melbourne Victory are continuing to celebrate the 2015 Asian Cup in their own way through their partnership with the Melbourne Chinese Soccer Association and the creation of the Melbourne Asian Cup.

The tournament features 16 different teams representing 16 different countries. The format was designed to reflect the official 2015 AFC Asian Cup tournament and the participants who pull on their country’s colours will be representing the country of their origin. These include Afghanistan, Australia, China, East Timor, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam and Zambia. There has been some exciting talent on display and the excitement is building as the teams compete to take centre-stage on AAMI Park, March 7, as the curtain-raiser before Melbourne Victory take on Central Coast.

The tournament is heating up now as the teams battle it out in their last qualifying game before finals. Melbourne Victory-s SEDA students who have made up the Australian team are still in the mix as they take on tournament favourites Japan at 10am on Sunday, January 19.

We invite all Melbourne Victory fans to attend the tournament to check out some seriously good talent and support your country. There are plenty of opportunities to win prizes and take part in some fun activations.

Event Details:
Event: Melbourne Asian Cup
Sunday, January 19
Venue: Darebin International Sports Centre
Time: 10am – 3pm

For more information visit MCSA’s website

You can also expect to see Melbourne Victory involved in a variety of events leading up to and beyond the Asian Cup. The club have formed relationships with the AFC Asian Cup ambassadors, who are looking to use football as the vehicle to engage their local communities.