By Denis Bright
The federal LNP refused visas to U-19 Teams from the DPR Korea to participate in qualifying events in Shepparton, Victoria. The transfer of these events to overseas venues was a disappointment to all involved in the development of Shepparton Sports City.
The foregone events received financial support from all levels of government and sporting organizations themselves.
The Victorian Minister for Sport enthusiastically endorsed the events in Shepparton before Julie Bishop made her unfortunate decision.
“The Andrew’s Labor Government has helped Shepparton secure the right to host qualifying matches for the 2018 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-19 Championship later this year, featuring our Young Socceroos.
Minister for Sport John Eren joined Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp and Young Socceroos Head Coach Ufuk Talay at the Greater Shepparton Community Football Complex today to announce the major sporting coup … The Labor Government secured the international tournament for Shepparton thanks to funding from the Regional Events Fund and Significant Sporting Events Program.
The $20 million Regional Events Fund is helping rural and regional communities like Shepparton stage the events that attract visitors in their thousands.”
The Australian Government’s visa decision was not given much media coverage compared with the saturation coverage offered in the mainstream media.
The significance of the intrusion of politics into sport was also marginalized by a 4-1 victory of the Socceroos over the DPR Korea in Hanoi on 7 November 2017.
The Young Matildas U-19 team lost to DPR Korea by 3 goals to Zero in a semi-final event in Nanjing, China.
As Indonesia remains a non-aligned country, the Socceroos will be welcome to the 2018 AFC U19 Championships in Indonesia between 18 October and 4 November 2018. Football Online notes that the qualified teams for next year’s events are Indonesia (hosts), United Arab Emirates, Tajikistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Korea Republic, China PR, Vietnam, Japan, Australia, Iraq, Malaysia, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, DPR Korea.
Fortunately, the federal LNP will have no say on sporting protocols in Indonesia unless that country is the victim of another sudden right-wing military coup as in 1965 which brought General Suharto to power.
Denis Bright is a registered teacher and a member of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA). Denis has recent postgraduate qualifications in journalism, public policy and international relations. He is interested in promoting discussion to advance pragmatic public policies that are compatible with contemporary globalization.