Melbourne’s Asian Cup kicks-off

The cream of Melbourne's Asian football talent was on display, as 16 teams began their battle in the inaugural Melbourne Asian Cup.

The cream of Melbourne's Asian football talent was on display, as 16 teams began their battle in the inaugural Melbourne Asian Cup.

The Cup will be held over four months at Darebin International Sports Centre, with the Opening Ceremony and the first round of games held last weekend.

Teams representing Asian Football Confederation countries have begun their contest to become the Melbourne Asian Cup Champions and win the right to play at AAMI Park in a curtain raiser before Melbourne Victory's game against Central Coast Mariners on March 7, 2014.

For upcoming fixtures and results from round one of Melbourne-s Asian Cup, click here.

The event, the first of its kind in Melbourne, organised by the Melbourne Chinese Soccer Association, has received support from Melbourne Victory, Football Federation Victoria and the AFC Asian Cup 2015.

SEDA students from Melbourne Victory are representing Australia in the tournament, with a first round win against Nepal.

The students were given this opportunity to reward and thank those students who have contributed significantly to our work in the community throughout the past year.

Melbourne Victory CEO Ian Robson, who attended the launch and round one, said the tournament was a fantastic opportunity to showcase Melbourne-s multicultural footballing talent.

He encouraged all Victory and football fans to attend the remaining rounds.

“This first round of games has seen some fantastic football from players from diverse backgrounds played in a great spirit,” Mr Robson said.

Mr Robson said the tournament provided a fantastic opportunity to engage with the Asian communities ahead of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup and develop long term partnerships through football.

Michael Brown, CEO of the Local Organising Committee of the AFC Asian Cup 2015 said: “Congratulations to the Melbourne Chinese Football Association for organising this wonderful event that will bring the Asian football communities together in advance of their national teams coming to Australia for the AFC Asian Cup 2015.”

Meanwhile, leaders from Melbourne-s multicultural communities have been appointed as Community Ambassadors for the 2015 Asian Cup.

The Ambassadors will help make Asia-s premier football tournament a cultural celebration for the 2.5 million people of Asian heritage living in Australia.

Melbourne Victory-s own ambassador Grant Brebner attended the induction evening, along with club officials who met and discussed their involvement in football at all levels, from grassroots through to the Hyundai A-League in the lead up to the prestigious tournament and beyond.

For more information about Melbourne-s Asian Cup, click here.

For more information about the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, click here.