LISMORE’S Asia Pacific Football Institute may be built in time to host a visiting national team for the 2015 Asian Cup.
Lismore Council has agreed to consider the development of the institute separately from the proposed residential and retail development, which could allow construction before the cup.
“With Australia hosting the Asian Cup in 2015, the APFI facilities in Lismore will be perfectly placed to be the home base of one of the many visiting national squads,” said Michael Carter, director of financial and business services at Southern Cross University, which is developing the facility.
Australia has won the right to host the 2015 Asian Cup, which is rapidly becoming a huge television spectacle. It attracted 655 million global viewers in 2007.
Northern NSW Football chief executive David Eland said he was excited at the prospect one of the teams may be hosted on the North Coast.
“Any opportunity to host an international squad within our region is very exciting, particularly if the football community is provided with the opportunity to watch the training,” he said.
“With Suncorp (stadium in Brisbane) one of the venues, Lismore would be an ideal opportunity for one of the teams to set up camp, train and acclimatise.”
Former Socceroos captain Craig Foster, who grew up in Lismore, first came up with the idea of the institute.
The $5 million institute on Military Rd will include five separate football fields, two accommodation blocks and a combined conference centre, dining area and office block.
After lobbying by Page MP Janelle Saffin, the Federal Government said in August it would kick in $2.5m of the cost.
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