Ballarat's Asian Cup wish-list

BALLARAT City Council has identified countries it wishes to bring to the city as part of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.

Chief executive officer Anthony Schink said meetings with the Back The Bid committee had discussed attracting teams of the calibre of Japan, China, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain for a pre-competition soccer camp.

VOTE HERE FOR WHICH COUNTRY YOU WOULD LIKE BASED IN BALLARAT

The council signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Asian Cup Local Organising Committee in November, signalling it as a leading contender to host one of the 16 competing nations in the lead up to the prestigious soccer tournament.

"We will be choosing teams we think add sufficient gravity around Ballarat. Those teams will bring alot of interest and profile to the city," he said.

"The criteria is looking at direct economic impact, we certainly want to attract a team that will bring national and international exposure. 

"Ballarat stakeholders will come together over the next fortnight to actively and aggressively market to the qualified teams."

Schink said costings and budgets of the lobbying process would be released in the next fortnight.

"In about two to three weeks time we will be advised by the AFC Asian Cup committee to proceed to attract a team," he said. 

Although unconfirmed, China is likely to qualify for the cup after a March 5 clash with Iraq, win, lose or draw.

International catalogues have been distributed by the AFC Asian Cup committee to qualified countries to advertise locations, including Ballarat.

Victoria University College of Business senior lecturer Martin Robertson said Ballarat's lobbying process should focus on community benefit.

"I think it's less about spending lots of money and more about what is going to be good for Ballarat," Robertson, who lectures about major sporting events, said.

Robertson pointed towards attracting China, Qatar and UAE.

"If you are going to go to have a first class team, its beneficial to have first class hotels and amenities," he said.

"China, Qatar and UAE would be fantastic, you have to think about which team is going to have links with the population."

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