Football Federation Australia (FFA) have confirmed that the Qantas Socceroos and Westfield Matildas have accepted invitations to participate in the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) East Asia Cup 2013, with the qualifying tournaments to be held from 20-24 November 2012 (Women) and 1-9 December 2012 (Men).
FFA CEO Ben Buckley believes that Australia’s presence at the EAFF East Asia Cup 2013 will be of great benefit to football in Australia and the region.
"The East Asian championship is a great opportunity for Australian football," Buckley said.
"Our participation will enrich Australia's engagement with the fastest growing football region in Asia, including Japan, South Korea and China.
"Emerging Socceroos and Matildas will get the chance to gain valuable international experience, especially those who play in the A-League & W-League.
"The commercial opportunities are also important, so this will help Australian football at many levels.
Buckley added that the timing of the qualifying tournaments are not ideal for the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League clubs, but the benefits of participating in the competition outweigh those issues.
“There may be players away on international duty during the Westfield W-League season in November and Hyundai A-League season in December, but that's part and parcel of the world game. We'll make sure that is carefully managed,” Buckley said.
The EAFF East Asia Cup is a four-team tournament for men and women, held every four years rotating between Japan, Korea Republic & China PR as the host nation.
The teams that will participate in the EAFF East Asia Cup for men are Japan, Korea Republic and China PR, with a fourth team determined by a qualification process.
For the women the final tournament will involve Japan, Korea Republic, DPR Korea plus one team from the Round 2 Qualifying Tournament.
The qualifiers for the Women’s EAFF East Asia Cup 2013 will be held in Shenzhen, China PR from 20-24 November 2012 and will involve teams from Australia, China PR, Chinese-Taipei and Hong Kong.
The qualifiers for the men’s edition of the EAFF East Asia Cup 2013 will be played in Hong Kong from 1-9 December 2012 and will involve teams from Australia, Chinese-Taipei, Guam, Hong Kong & DPR Korea.
The Men’s & Women’s EAFF East Asia Cup 2013 will be held concurrently in Seoul, Korea Republic from 20-28 July 2013.