Australian sporting consumers are reportedly baffled by FIFA’s insistence that stadia be referred to by their original names during the Asian Cup.
FIFA, an organisation not noted for its aversion to money, prohibits corporate stadium names during marquee international events, such as the World Cup and the Asian Cup.
Many stadiums these days are now built in conjunction with major corporations, which means the placeholder name can often be quite absurd. For example, Melbourne’s AAMI stadium will go by the visually accurate name, Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, throughout the Asian Cup tournament.
Local football fan Greg Townsend said the confusion had already caused him to abandon plans to attend a round match.
“To me, match day experience is all about corporate branding and creature comforts, and I’m sceptical of any stadium that doesn’t align themselves with a multinational company or bank,” he said.
When told the Oman v Australia game would be held at Stadium Australia, John Mavirdos, 34, said “what the fuck is this, the year 2000?”
“Next thing you’ll be telling me that Nikki Webster is doing the anthem, and Australia is good at sport again.”
By staff writers