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Soccer kicks tourism goals for NSW as fans turn out

August 13, 2014 Destination Global, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59About 55,000 soccer fans turned out on a crisp winter’s night to watch Italian football giants Juventus play a Foxtel A-League All Stars side at ANZ Stadium at Sydney’s Homebush Bay on Sunday. Juventus prevailed but had to work for it in an exciting match.

The Australian exclusive, secured by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, in partnership with Football Federation Australia, signals a push into football tourism. Last year it was Manchester United drawing the crowds. Now there are rumours that another big English football club, Arsenal, could be coming to NSW next.

With the FIFA World Cup not long over, the football is still bouncing.

“I am delighted to welcome one of the world’s oldest football clubs and reigning Serie A champions Juventus to Sydney, Australia’s premier major events city,” NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Andrew Stoner, said when welcoming the Italian champions.

“A highlight for fans will no doubt be the chance to witness A-League All Star Captain Alessandro Del Piero line up against some of his former Juventus team mates, eleven of whom featured in the recent FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

“By hosting this champion team, Sydney and NSW will again be on show to the world, confirming our position as Australia’s home of major events. Juventus have an impressive following, with a world-wide fan base of 250 million, including 1.4 million Juventus faithful in Australia,” Stoner said.

NSW Minister for Sport and Recreation Stuart Ayres encouraged people attending the match to come early and enjoy the pre-game festivities.

Not long before, Ayres announced that Western Sydney will host the annual Pacific Football Cup from 19 to 23 November 2014.

“Organised by the Australia Fiji Football Association, the football governing body for the Australian Fijian and Fijian-Indian communities, the Pacific Cup 2014 will bring some of our closest Pacific neighbours together for a week-long international tournament in celebration of football and culture,” Ayres said.

“This feast of Pacific football entertainment in Sydney’s West is not only great for local fans but also nearby businesses which should see an influx of hungry spectators throughout the tournament.

“The Pacific Cup joins an exciting football line up in Sydney over the next 12 months, including Juventus versus the A-League All Stars on Sunday and the AFC Asian Cup 2015,” he said.

First held in 2012, the Pacific Cup is attended by teams from Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. It is estimated that this year’s Cup will attract around 30,000 spectators to Western Sydney over five days.

“The Pacific Cup is also a chance for recreational and professional footballers to play alongside each other and share their love of the beautiful game with their compatriots and communities,” Ayres said.

“Western Sydney, home of the Wanderers FC, is the perfect setting for this gathering of passionate footballers and come November the Sydney Untied Sports Centre at Edensor Park will play host to a number of exciting Pacific football derbies.

“The Pacific Cup 2014 in Western Sydney was secured through the great work of Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism and Major Events Andrew Stoner and Destination NSW,” Ayres concluded.

Pacific Cup 2014 organiser, the Australia Fiji Football Association, was founded almost 20 years ago. It promotes a positive and friendly, social approach to participation at all levels of the game.

Written by : Peter Needham

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