FFA sees commercial opportunity in East Asian Championship participation
31 Aug 2012
Football Federation Australia (FFA) has announced that its national team will compete in the East Asian Championship for the first time, with the event being seen as a means to boost the Federation’s financial, political and footballing status.
The 2013 East Asian Championship is set be held in the South Korean capital of Seoul in July, with the host nation, China and Japan gaining automatic entry. As an invitee, Australia will battle against Chinese-Taipei, Guam, Hong Kong and North Korea for the final place in the Championship at a qualifying tournament in December.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that organisers the East Asian Football Federation are banking on Australia’s qualification as a means to boost television rights, sponsorship revenues and ticket sales for the tournament. The newspaper added that Australia’s presence in the Championship could raise between A$3 million (US$3.09 million) and A$5 million for the cash-strapped FFA.
“These championships are a great opportunity for Australian football,” said FFA chief executive Ben Buckley. “Our participation will enrich Australia’s engagement with the fastest growing football region in Asia, including Japan, South Korea and China. Emerging Socceroos will get the chance to gain valuable international experience, especially those who play in the A-League. The commercial opportunities are also important, so this will help Australian football at many levels. There may be players away on international duty during the A-League season in December, but that’s part and parcel of the world game. We’ll make sure that is carefully managed.”