The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup is set to embark on a tour of all five Australian host cities for next year's tournament, giving fans a perfect chance to see the trophy.
The trophy will be on public display in Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane from Thursday (December 4) until December 12, while interactive football promotional events will also take place.
It will visit Centenary Square, Parramatta, before heading to Wheeler Place, Newcastle on December 6, Federation Square, Melbourne on December 8 and Canberra Centre, Canberra on December 10, before concluding its tour in Queen St Mall, Brisbane on December 12 ahead of the competition on January 9 to 31, 2015.
"The AFC Asian Cup is the oldest, largest and most prestigious football event in Asia, and the trophy is one of the most coveted trophies in world sport," said AFC general secretary Dato' Alex Soosay.
"It has international stature and significance.
"The Trophy is almost 50 years in age after Korea Republic won the inaugural AFC Asian Cup in Hong Kong in 1956.
"It is the first time the AFC Asian Cup has been played in Australia and the Trophy Tour is a wonderful way to celebrate and promote the event."
The Trophy Tour began in China in September and the Cup will have travelled to Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea and Japan by the time it arrives in Sydney on December 2.
"The Trophy Tour will allow fans to take photos with the AFC Asian Cup Trophy, meet and be photographed with past and present Socceroo greats, plus participate in active football drills, as well as more sedentary games such as table foosball," chief executive of the AFC Asian Cup Local Organising Committee Michael Brown said.
"With the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 to kick-off one month later, the Trophy Tour is the perfect vehicle to galvanise Australian communities in support of the biggest, single football championship ever played in Australia."
The Asian Cup will see 16 nations - hosts Australia, defending champions Japan, Bahrain, China, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, South Korea, Kuwait, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan - battle it out in 32 matches in 23 days.
The final is set for Sydney's Stadium Australia on January 31.
Tickets for AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 are available here.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
November 2014: Australian fans urged to adopt a second team ahead of 2015 AFC Asian Cup
July 2014: Continental becomes 2015 Asian Cup sponsor amid rumours of end of World Cup partnership