Football diplomacy redux: the 2015 Asian Cup and Australia's engagement with Asia

International relations Australia Asia

n 2015 Australia will host the Asian Football Confederation’s Asian Cup, bringing together the top 16 national teams in Asia.  The tournament will provide opportunities for government, business and community groups to strengthen their engagement with Asia. In order to understand and leverage those opportunities, the Lowy Institute and the Asian Cup Local Organising Committee held a day-long conference on 23 November 2012, bringing together senior government, business, tourism, sport and community representatives. 

Drawing on the ideas generated at the conference, this report outlines how key stakeholders can use the Asian Cup to strengthen Australia’s ties with Asia.

Key findings:

  • To leverage the engagement and networking opportunities of the Asian Cup, key stakeholders should form of a Football Asia Council to pool scarce resources, build synergies and avoid duplication
  • The Council should oversee the creation of a digital hub as a one-stop-shop for information about both the Asian Cup and the various football diplomacy networking opportunities around it, along with an associated social media platform
  • Government and FFA should provided targeted support to those groups already planning football diplomacy activities around the Asian Cup.
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