For eight days (18 to 26 January), Sydney, Australia, hosted the “Asia Pacific Oceania Cup”, the first in the history of both FIPFA and the Asia-Pacific-Oceania zone. In the magnificent setting of the Gymnasium of Legends in the Olympic Park, two Australian national teams, Australia Gold and Australia Green,
and two Japanese teams, Team Japan and Team Nippon, offered a magnificent show during four days of intense competition. The level of the competition promises great performances for both Australia and Japan in the next World Cup in 2015!
The Minister of Sports of New South Wales officially opened the tournament with Kévin Wong, President of the APO zone, and Rale Rasic, Ambassador of the Competition, with an opening ceremony and celebration. Then the Australia Gold/Team Japan match set the tone. Winners of this first duel were the more experienced Japanese, who had to cope with the fierce opposition of Australians. Only two years after having started the adventure of powerchair football and competing well in World Cup 2011, the Australians are progressing quickly and display the will to cause worry within the best global nations.
Against Australia Green in the final of the APO Cup 2013, Team Japan had to wait until overtime to finally defeat the Aussies 2 to 1 and thus win the first edition of this Cup. The APO promises a bright future, with the second Cup competition already announced for November 2014 in Tokyo. Hopefully Singapore and New Zealand, last minute absentees this year, will add to the competition, as well as other Asian countries which would swell the contingent of countries involved, demonstrating the good health of the APO FIPFA Zone!