The unofficial announcement that Sydney will host the semi-finals, match for third place and final of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup was met with predictable consternation and disdain by many followers of the game.
Particularly those in Melbourne who might believe that their own neck of the woods is the centre of the sporting universe.
In an interview with The World Game, organising committee chief executive Michael Brown virtually rubber-stamped the harbour city as the venue for the business end of the tournament.
Subject to Asian Football Confederation (AFC) ratification, the 16-team tournament will be played in the last three weeks of January, which is traditionally a busy period in Australia's sporting calendar.
The biggest event of them all - the Australian Tennis Open - will be held in the second fortnight of the month.
It is essentially for this reason that Melbourne will get the opening game of the Asian Cup featuring Australia's Socceroos and not the final, as many might have anticipated.
Melbourne's preference from day one was to hold the opening match scheduled for 9 January or thereabouts because a semi-final or final two weeks later would have clashed heavily with the Grand Slam tournament, which is a world-class sporting event in its own right.
Not much sport happens in Melbourne between the end of cricket's Boxing Day Test and the start of the Open.
Organisers therefore are keen to tap into that two-week window of opportunity by hitting the sports-mad city with the start of the Asian Cup.
By the same token, nothing major usually takes place in Sydney in the second half of January, hence the selection of the harbour city as host of the last four matches.
Organisers also are keen to tap into the annual Sydney Festival that takes up the last three weeks of the month.
There can be no better way to amalgamate the sporting nature of the Asian Cup with the cultural aspects of the festival extravaganza than by holding these two events at the same time.
So, from a logistical point of view, it is quite clear that holding the opening match in Melbourne and the finals in Sydney makes good commercial sense.
The Asian Cup will be played in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra, mainly because the cities' respective state governments were the only ones prepared to bankroll the blue riband event of Asian football.
The tournament, whose structure and location of games will be decided in conjunction with the AFC and relevant governments, will be funded to the tune of $61 million.
Half that amount will come from Federal Government and the other half from the relevant state governments.
The states will contribute varying levels of funding depending on how many games they will get.
For example, NSW will make a larger funding contribution to earn the right to stage the finals.
Which is fair enough. You pay for what you get and vice versa.
At the moment there is a shortlist of eight stadiums in the four chosen cities that will be cut to five before the end of the year.
Sydney will have two stadiums for the tournament and the other cities one each.
The NSW venues are ANZ Stadium, Allianz Stadium and Parramatta Stadium, Queensland's are Suncorp Stadium and Skilled Park, Victoria's are Etihad Stadium and AAMI Park while the ACT's is Canberra Stadium.
It is proposed that each host city stages a selection of six matches from the four groups plus a quarter-final because a rotating tournament is basically what the state governments would prefer.
No team will play all its group matches at one venue.
It is still two and a half years down the track but the Asian Cup should tell us if Aussie fans are really prepared to embrace Asia by supporting a tournament that has been described as a “watershed for the game in this country”.
Melbourne fans as usual can be counted on to do their bit to light up the tournament with their loyal patronage while their Brisbane and Canberra counterparts no doubt would be keen to experience a top quality event at their doorstep.
The problem will be Sydney, which is notoriously lukewarm when it comes to supporting big football occasions, the 2000 Olympic final and 2005 qualifier against Uruguay excepted.
Sydney supporters are a funny and frustrating lot and have often rightly earned the derision of fellow fans from across the country for their glaring lack of support for the game at national and club level.
The Asian Cup will give them a wonderful opportunity to crush the common belief that they would only go to a football match if their team is winning, if it's not raining, if they can find an easy park or if there's nothing else on.
Sydney has been bestowed with a rare privilege of hosting 11 matches involving the cream of Asian football.
The very least its spoilt fans can do is show their appreciation by turning up.
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