Tuesday, June 1, 2010

AFC gives green light to local organisers’ planning for Asian Cup

Asian Cup.
Doha, Qatar, 01 June - Asia’s governing football body, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have enthusiastically endorsed the arrangements in place for Qatar’s biggest sporting event next year, the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™.

Senior officials from the AFC’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur are in Qatar to look at the preparations and planning for Asia’s premier football tournament which brings together the continent’s 16 top teams from 7-29 January next year.

The AFC visited the five stadiums staging the 32 matches in the tournament, including the jewel in Qatar’s crown, Khalifa International Stadium, which will be hosting the opening and closing ceremonies, Qatar’s matches in the group phase, one quarter-final, one semi-final and the final.

“We have visited all the venues as well as the Main Media Centre and the International Broadcast Centre and we went through many details with the venue planning team. We have completed, during our visit, all venues planning as well as the finer details related to the broadcast requirements”, said Mr Tokuaki Suzuki, AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™ Tournament Director.

The two sides were also discussing Ticketing, Marketing and Accreditation programmes with a particular focus on attracting football fans from the region as well as Qatar.

In addition, the local organisers presented their plans for a stunning FanZone with games, food and entertainment which is expected to be the hub of activities during the tournament.

The AFC’s management team also fine tuned the planned broadcast operations for the event which will be watched by hundreds of millions of viewers across Asia.

The local organisers, the Qatar Local Organising Committee (QLOC), are working closely with host broadcaster Al Dawri Al Kass to provide High Definition (HD) coverage of every match in the tournament for the first time in Asian Cup history.

QLOC’s Chief Operating Officer Dr Athanasios Batsilas was also optimistic that his team, a number of them with international event experience, would produce a world-class tournament. “Nearly all the elements are in place,” he said. “We have had very fruitful discussions with the AFC and are on track to stage a great event which will showcase the best of Asian football.”

Mr Suzuki added: “We appreciate all the hard work that has been done by the venue planning department of the QLOC to get the facilities up to the standards of AFC. I believe the QLOC have done a very good job and we look forward to working with them closely over the next seven months”.

To underline the quality of the tournament, four of the 16 qualifiers – Australia, Japan, the Korea Republic and DPR Korea – will be taking part in the World Cup in South Africa which kicks off on 11 June.

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