Community Ambassadors for the 2015 Asian Cup.
The three Filipino-Australian Asian Cup Community Ambassadors appointed are
Manuel Diel (Filipino-Australian Artistic & Cultural Endeavour Society, Inc.).
Manny Castillo (Philippine-Australian Sports & Culture, Inc. and Marco Selorio (Hoopdreamz/MAS Presents).
More than 40 leaders from Sydney’s multicultural communities have been appointed as Community Ambassadors for the 2015 Asian Cup.
Local Organising Committee CEO Michael Brown said the ambassadors would help make Asia’s premier football tournament a cultural celebration for the 2.5 million people of Asian heritage living in Australia.
“Sydney is home to people that have come from right across the Asian continent,” Mr Brown said.
“We are encouraging these people to come and support the Socceroos in January 2015, but also to support the country of their origin and to use the Asian Cup as an opportunity to celebrate their cultures.
“Football, more than any other sport, crosses geographic and cultural boundaries and I am sure in January 2015 we will see people of all backgrounds sitting side by side here in Sydney watching the biggest football tournament Australia has ever hosted.”
The national teams of Japan, Korea, China, Iran and Saudi Arabia are among those likely to be featured in the 11 games played in New South Wales.
Mr Brown said many of the Community Ambassadors had heritage from these countries and would work with the Local Organising Committee to promote the event in their local communities.
One of them is Lok Tak Hing, the inaugural Chairman of Australian Chinese Soccer Association, which runs a competition in Sydney with hundreds of players of Chinese ancestry.
“The Asian Cup is a world class football tournament and also a great opportunity to celebrate our culture and bring the community together,” said Lok Tak Hing, who also competed in the 1964 Asian Cup, representing Hong Kong.
Another Community Ambassador is Remy Wehbe, CEO of Australian Middle Eastern Media, an organisation that owns a number of the major Arabic-language newspapers and publications in Australia, and President of the Australian Lebanese Football Association.
As an Australian citizen who grew up in Lebanon, Remy is hoping Lebanon can secure one of the final places in the 2015 Asian Cup.
“To me football is more than sport; it’s a way of living. I am excited to see Lebanon, the Socceroos and some great football here in 2015,” he said.
Mr Brown said more than 150 Community Ambassadors would be appointed across the five host cities for AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 and each would assist engage their community in their own unique way.
Local Organising Committee CEO Michael Brown
“Our Community Ambassadors come from a variety of backgrounds,” he said.
“We have some who manage community organisations, others who run foreign-language newspapers here in Australia. The commonality between all is that they are leaders of their communities and are excited about contributing to make the 2015 Asian Cup a great event for all Australians.”
AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 will take place from January 9-31 in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle.
Twelve nations have already qualified – Australia as hosts, defending champions Japan, South Korea and North Korea, along with Bahrain, Iran, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan.
A further four spots are at stake, one in the AFC Challenge Cup and a further three in the final round of qualifying matches next March.
The tournament is being jointly funded by the Australian Government and the NSW, Victorian, Queensland and ACT Governments.
For more information on AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 visit www.afcasiancup.com