The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup is underway. The Cup is the biggest football tournament ever held in Australia, a major international sporting event. AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 runs for 23 days. In the opening days, Australia has done well while the competition as a whole is impressive. More than 500,000 spectators – including around 30,000 fans from overseas – are expected to attend the 32 matches being played across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle. 3,500 journalists are covering the event. Host venues have had their familiar naming rights and regular sponsors removed. Tourism and trade, business and investment promotion activities are underway. PricewaterhouseCoopers has estimated that the GDP impact from hosting the Asian Cup could be as much as $23 million.
Havana Brown headlined the Asian Cup 11-minutes opening ceremony, ahead of the opening match, Australia v Kuwait. The Aussies won that game. The Opening Ceremony featured Australian pop singer Havana Brown, Brisbane band Sheppard, Indigenous performer Geoffrey Gurrumul, and more than 200 junior footballers, dancers and professional performers. It was directed by Melbourne’s Malaysian-born Chong Lim, currently working as Musical Director of “Dancing with the Stars”. Lim wrote music for the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics and was Musical Director and Composer for the Closing Ceremony of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games.
Originally published in our newsletter, "Back on the Block", published on 17 January 2015.