(WFI) Officials from the 16 nations participating in the 2015 Asian Cup are attending a team workshop in Kuala Lumpur.
The two-day summit in the Malaysian capital is for team managers, doctors and officials.
AFC vice-president Prince Abdullah, chairman of the AFC Asian Cup 2015 organising Committee, said: “The purpose of this workshop is to familiarise teams with the event.
“Australia is our new brother since they joined us in 2006. Their hosting of this high-profile competition is an endorsement of Australia being part of Asia.
“At the recently concluded FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil, we saw Australia showcase their game and also the beautiful goal by Tim Cahill. This is certainly an eye opener for Australia.
“The World Cup is our benchmark. So this workshop is a timely event to ensure the Asian Cup runs smoothly and, of course, expectations will be very high and all teams want to win the tournament.”
His comments were posted on the Asian Cup’s official website.
Prince Abdullah praised the Australian Local Organising Committee for their organizational efforts to date.
“I’m happy to note the great interest in our competition from the people of Australia, the government and multinational corporations. I’ve been told the response has been very encouraging, so we have to put out a good show,” he said.
Asian Cup CEO Michael Brown reported good progress on preparations for the continental football extravaganza.
“Wednesday marks 100 days to go to the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 and preparations are going very well with excitement building in Australia,” he said.
“Five cities are ready to host the teams at the Asian Cup, our festival of football.”
Workshop participants will hear detailed planning and information on the tournament.
Brown urged the delegates to raise awareness of the Asian Cup in their own countries to ensure full houses at the January 2015 tournament.
“We’d like you to be ambassadors for the Asian Cup and encourage your media and fans to come to Australia. We hope to have big crowds at the games,” he said.
“We are committed to making Australia 2015 the best Asian Cup ever.”
On Friday, the first-ever AFC Asian Cup Trophy Tour kicked off in Beijing. It’s on a seven-nation journey to grow the profile of the tournament.
The Asian Cup will continue its trek around China in Shanghai on Oct. 1 and 2 where it will celebrate the 100-day countdown to the opening ceremony. Guangzhou and Chengdu are stops on Oct. 4-8.
After China, the tour takes in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Korea Republic and Japan. The tour will arrive in Australia in December ahead of the Asian Cup kick-off on Jan. 9.
By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson
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