Australia joined the Asian Football Confederation back in 2007 after forty years of being a big whale in the small ocean of the OFC. With their only real competitor being New Zealand. and qualifying matches which saw them set records (the famous 31-0 vs. Samoa which inspired the title for James Montagues recent world cup book), they decided being in the OFC was holding them back. The OFC’s “1/2” spot in the world cup didn’t do them any good either having only qualified as an OFC member twice in 1974 and 2006 (they have a 100% qualifying record since joining the AFC). Australia reached the final of the 2011 Asian Cup but lost 1-0 to Japan. Australia was the sole bidder to host the 2015 edition and is eyeing winning the trophy at home.
Needless to say, it will be a special tournament for Palestine as well. And who would’ve thought we’d have to fly all the way to Australia to watch our nation’s first Asian Cup. If you plan on making the trip, this post is for you.
Tickets are sold on the Asian Cup website and those to Palestine’s group games cost AUD30 at most. Those who plan on supporting loudly and close to other Palestine fans, we encourage you to choose the “Active Supporter Zone”. You can have the tickets delivered by mail or available for pickup once you get there.
Palestine play Japan in Newcastle which is 162km from Sydney, so you might want to consider Sydney as your base for the first leg of the trip. It takes about three hours from Sydney to Newcastle on the Central Coast and Newcastle railway line.
Next, Palestine plays Jordan in Melbourne. We did the research: you are best off flying there (its cheaper than rail and takes much less time).
|Melbourne’s Rectangular Stadium will host Palestine vs. Jordan|
Palestine’s final group game against Iraq will be in Canberra, the Australian capital. Again, unless you fancy an 8 hour road trip, you might as well get on a plane to get there.
There, now you know enough to broadly plan your trip. What you do between matches is up to you.
A final note: be sure to join the Asian Cup Palestine Support Group on Facebook.