By Paul Osborne

Australians have been urged to adopt a second team ofr the 2015 AFC Asian Cup ©Getty ImagesOrganisers of next year's Asian Cup in Australia have launched a new website encouraging home fans to support a second team during Asia's biggest football tournament.

Entitled, "Adopt a Team", the website has been designed to engage and educate Australians about the 15 teams visiting its shores in January 2015.

The initiative will allow participants to randomly or specifically select a team to support throughout the 23-day tournament, which kicks off in Melbourne on January 9.

Participants are able to adopt a team as an individual, school, club or workplace and access information, videos and notes on key players to look out for.

"Aussies are renowned for their love of sport and this January will be football history in the making," said Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup Australia 2015 ambassador and football fanatic, Sam Pang.

"The stars of Asia are coming to play in our backyard and we want to show them exactly what Aussie support looks like.

"I have adopted Uzbekistan and am looking forward to cheering on the White Wolves in the stands!"

Japan are the reigning Asian Cup champions after beating Australia 1-0 in the final of the 2011 tournament ©Getty ImagesJapan are the reigning Asian Cup champions after beating Australia 1-0 in the final of the 2011 tournament ©Getty Images

The 16 nations to qualify for AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 are Australia as hosts, defending champions Japan, Bahrain, China, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Korea Republic, Kuwait, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan.

Australia became an AFC member in 2006, leaving the rest of Oceania in a bid to gain more experience in a higher calibre of competition, and the latest scheme is partly a move to demonstrate their integration into Asian football.

"We understand that the majority of Australians will be wearing green and gold throughout the tournament, but when the Socceroos aren't on the pitch, adopting a second team is a great way to get involved with the biggest football tournament ever to be held in Australia," said AFC Asian Cup chief executive Michael Brown.

"Australians always show visitors great hospitality and adopting a second team is a great way to show our football guests our love of the world game."

The AFC Asian Cup will take place from January 9 to 31 across five Australian cities, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle.

The 23-day tournament will consist of 32 matches and culminate in a final at Sydney's Stadium Australia.

The tournament is being financially supported by the Australian Government and the New South Wales, Victorian, Queensland and Australian Capital Territory Governments.

To find out how to adopt a second team, click here.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
June 2014: Jordan pick pre-competition camp for 2015 AFC Asian Cup