The Weatherill Labor Government must do more to bring the Socceroos to Adelaide Oval, with South Australia a notable absentee on the schedule for the 2015 Asian Cup.
Almost a year after the $535 Adelaide Oval redevelopment was completed, no future international soccer games, including those involving the Socceroos, have been scheduled for the venue.
Shadow Minister for Recreation and Sport Tim Whetstone said Socceroos fans had been forced to travel interstate to see their team in action.
“It is extremely frustrating and disappointing to see one of Asia’s most important soccer tournaments played in Australia but not at Adelaide Oval,” Mr Whetstone said.
“Not only do our junior soccer players miss out on a chance to see their heroes play, but South Australia is missing out on a share of the 50,000 international visitors and $23 million economic contribution from this event.
“Labor ignored an offer in 2009 from Football Federation Australia to assist the State Government to deliver a compliant stadium that supported the FFA’s major event bid infrastructure to be part of Australia’s bid to host the Asian Cup.
“There was no cost-benefit analysis done and Labor failed to even discuss the event with the Tourism Commission before making the decision not to accept the FFA’s assistance.
“The 2015 Asian Cup is being broadcast to an estimated 2.5 billion viewers and would have been a prime chance for South Australia to prove that it is more than capable of hosting FIFA World Cup matches.
“The Socceroos have played one match in South Australia in the past 11 years and it is time the State Government upped the ante and brought the national team back to play in SA.”