Lucas Neill Becomes Captain Ambassador for AFC Asian Cup 2015
August 27, 2013
Australian captain Lucas Neill has been named Captain Ambassador for the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015.
Neill’s appointment was announced in Sydney by AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 Local Organising Committee Chairman Frank Lowy AC as the 500-day countdown began to the biggest football tournament ever held in Australia.
“I have long dreamed of a football event this big coming to Australian shores, bronchi ” Neill said.
“I am passionate about growing the game in Australia and the Asian Cup is a great opportunity for fans to see world-class football right in their backyard. To actually be part of it in the capacity of Captain Ambassador makes it doubly special for me.
“I feel very proud and deeply honoured. It’s like wearing the captain’s armband, but never having to take it off,” said Neill, fresh from signing a contract to play club football in Japan, the reigning Asian champion.
Mr Lowy said Neill was one of the most recognisable faces in Australian football. He had played in both of Australia’s previous Asian Cup campaigns and led the Socceroos in their last attempt.
“It is fitting that Lucas should be the face of the Asian Cup as it comes to Australia for the first time,” Mr Lowy said.
“I am pleased that Lucas has accepted this honour and I know as ambassador he will do his utmost to promote the AFC Asian Cup both in Australia and throughout Asia.”
Local Organising Committee Chief Executive Officer Michael Brown said the tournament was the biggest sporting event in Asia, and represented a key opportunity for Australian governments, business, tourism and sporting interests to engage with the region early in the Asian century.
“It is exciting today to unveil the countdown clock to mark 500 Days to Go until the Asian Cup kicks off in Melbourne on 9 January, 2015,” Mr Brown said.
“Today we are also releasing a promotional reel to boost excitement in the Asian Cup, highlighting our beautiful host cities.
“With Lucas Neill as our Captain Ambassador we are confident that we can spread the word about the Asian Cup to both traditional football fans and the wider community.”
AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 will take place from January 9-31 in five host cities – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle.