Thursday, April 26, 2007

Australia averages 75,000 fans at Telstra Stadium

Sydney's Telstra Stadium, the former 2000 Olympic Games stadium, will host at least one Australia match every year until 2010, as well as the home leg of any FIFA World Cup qualification play-off in 2009, under a deal struck with Football Federation Australia. The Socceroos' appearances at Telstra Stadium in 2008 and 2009 may also include 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification group matches. "I know the new arrangements will be enthusiastically embraced by the Sydney sporting public," Telstra Stadium chief executive Ken Edwards told AAP. "Having the Socceroos in marquee internationals at Telstra Stadium every year is exciting enough, but to know that the Stadium would be entrusted to host any do-or-die World Cup play-offs in 2009 is a great privilege."

The first match under the agreement is the Socceroos against Uruguay on Saturday, 2 June this year. FFA chief executive Ben Buckley said that match had taken on a greater significance after the postponement of the Socceroos clash with Argentina, originally scheduled for 6 June in Melbourne. "At this stage it appears unlikely that we will have another match in Australia in June which means that the World Cup qualifying re-match against Uruguay will be the only chance to farewell the team ahead of the Asian Cup," Buckley said. The Socceroos have played six matches at Telstra Stadium with an average attendance of 75,000.

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