Australia in Asian football to change perceptions

Australia's membership of the Asian Football Confederation "will be as significant as the Colombo Plan and APEC for Australia's engagement with Asia - provided the opportunities are understood and grasped," writes Anthony Bubalo, a research fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney. The Lowy Institute was endowed by Frank Lowy, the property developer tycoon who has revamped Australian soccer and chairs Football Federation Australia.

Forshadowing his "Football Diplomacy: Engaging Asia through Sport" seminar at the Lowy Institute on 19 October, Bubalo told readers of The Australian that the significance of the move "goes beyond football". He says sponsors of Australian teams will gain exposure to a massive new audience and there will be spin-offs in the tourism and travel sectors. "But it is the less quantifiable implications that make the prospect of AFC membership really interesting". More here.