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Published on : Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Melbourne and Docklands Stadium were selected as the venue for the crucial match after discussions with all major State Governments and Tourism Agencies and the relevant stadiums.
The Victorian Government, through its events agency Victorian Major Events Company (VMEC), made a strong commitment to the match. The travel plans of the Caltex Socceroos, who will play Saudi Arabia in Saudi Arabia on 6 October, were also part of the decision-making process.
FFA CEO David Gallop was excited to announce the match would be played in Melbourne, which put together the best bid, combining commercial and footballing considerations.
“We are excited to have locked in Docklands Stadium in Melbourne for the Caltex Socceroos’ crucial World Cup Qualifier against Japan in October,” Gallop said.
“The interest from State Governments all over Australia was high and a good indication of the popularity of the Caltex Socceroos. The Australia v Japan World Cup Qualifier will be a fantastic event and we are thrilled to be able to bring it to Melbourne.
“I’d like to thank the Victorian Government and Docklands Stadium for their support of the match and we look forward to seeing Docklands Stadium packed with fans and an atmosphere only football can provide with thousands of Japanese fans expected to be amongst the sea of green and gold.”
Acting Minister for Tourism and Major Events Philip Dalidakis said Victoria was pleased to add the World Cup Qualifier to its calendar of major events.“We’re thrilled Victoria has been chosen to host what could be the biggest blockbuster of the qualification stage,” he said. “These two have history. Who could forget the 2006 FIFA World Cup comeback?
“Our world-class events attract visitors from all over the world, and that’s a big boost to the local economy.”
Caltex Socceroos Head Coach Ange Postecoglou stated the match would be one of the most important in the qualifying period and was confident Melbourne would provide the team with the best opportunity for success as they strive to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
“The October window is a challenging window in this qualification period as we have a match in Saudi Arabia on October 6 and then have a quick turnaround to face Japan back in Australia,” Postecoglou said. “They are important games and this gives us the best chance of preparing for the two challenges we face within five days.”FFA has also reaffirmed its long term agreement with the NSW Government with at least one of the remaining World Cup Qualifiers to be played in NSW over the next 12 months.
“FFA and the NSW Government have a strong long-term relationship that we announced before the Socceroos played Jordan and Greece in Sydney earlier this year and we look forward to playing premium Socceroos and Matildas matches in NSW over the next five years,” Gallop said.