Australia U23s visit Expo 2020 site alongside FIFA leaders

Representatives from Australia’s U23 men’s national football team had the unique opportunity to visit the Australian Pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai on Sunday.

In the Middle East ahead of this month’s AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022 qualifiers in Tajikistan, members of the team had the opportunity to explore the Australian Pavilion – Australia’s physical presence at the World Exposition – which is being hosted in the United Arab Emirates from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022.

At the event, Australia’s national team representatives engaged with local and Australian expat children in a skills session, and also had the opportunity to meet both FIFA, Australian Government, and Expo 2020 officials to discuss football and the role that Australia plays, and can play, in the global game.

Australia’s representatives met with FIFA Secretary General, Fatma Samoura, and Chief Women’s Football Officer, Sarai Bareman. The group also had the opportunity to learn about Australia’s Expo 2020 initiatives from Australia’s Expo 2020 Commissioner General, Justin McGowan, and the Director General of Expo 2020, Reem Al Hashima. France football great Youri Djorkaeff was also in attendance in his capacity as CEO of the FIFA Foundation. It also gave the delegation a taste of what to expect in Australia ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia/New Zealand 2023.

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World Expositions provide opportunities for nations across the globe to come together and share the very best of what their country has to offer, as well as learn from other nations and their experiences. The visit provided an opportunity to see Australia’s impressive Expo 2020 Pavilion first-hand, and to learn about some the capabilities that the Australian Government via Expo 2020 is promoting to the world.

Football Australia’s relationship with the Australian Pavilion at Expo 2020 dates back to late 2018 when members of the Socceroos took part in the first public event hosted on the Australia’s plot of land prior to the commencement of the AFC Asian Cup in the UAE.

The core of Australia’s U23 men’s national team squad for the forthcoming AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022 qualifiers against Indonesia in Tajikistan have been training in Dubai over the past week.

Australia’s squad for the qualifiers will be announced on Tuesday, 19 October 2021 after the final players for the matches on neutral territory are confirmed.

China PR recently withdrew from qualifying, leaving just Australia and Indonesia in Group G after Brunei Darussalam also withdrew earlier in the year. This means that Australia and Indonesia will play two matches on neutral territory in Tajikistan (27/10 and 30/10), with the winner advancing to the AFC U23 Asian Cup in Uzbekistan next year.

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