Fan support rocks Asian Cup

According to AFC General Secretary, Dato' Alex Soosay, the number of spectators is a cause for excitement for Asian football, and he believes that the numbers will only grow as the tournament progresses.

"We truly have a great tournament on our hands. The passion and enthusiasm in each of the matches played so far both on and off the pitch has been remarkable," said Dato' Alex.

"Great credit must be given to the Australian Local Organising Committee which has promoted the event wonderfully with activities and initiatives aimed at raising the interest of fans – like the AFC Asian Cup Adopt a Team program which encourages Aussies to support a second team," Dato' Alex said.

"It is amazing that a match between Qatar and Iran in Australia could amass more than 22,000 supporters, while the match between Japan and Iraq had 22,941 people in the stadium. 

"The travelling fans have been a joy to watch, as they not only support their team, but they also bring a touch of culture and uniqueness to the game," he added.

Michael Brown, CEO of the Local Organising Committee, praised thae fans for their wonderful support of the event.

"I take my hat off to the fans. They are helping us achieve our dream of staging a tournament that will never be forgotten.

"We have spent years preparing what we hoped would be a huge, multicultural celebration of football, and the fans are making that a reality.

"The first Asian Cup on Australian soil is enjoying tremendous support at all five venues – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle," said Brown.

"We are half-way through the tournament – 16 matches out of 32. But the big ones are still to come – the knockout matches of the quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final itself – so we feel we are well on track to crack our target of half a million spectators.

"There are some games coming up where we expect very big crowds and people who want to attend quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final should buy their tickets now to avoid disappointment," he added.