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Australia accepts EAFF invitation

Australia's men's and women's teams will participate in the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) East Asia Cup 2013 the Football Federation of Australia confirmed on Wednesday, reports the official AFC website. The Socceroos will play in the qualifiers for the men's edition of the EAFF East Asia Cup 2013 which will be played in Hong Kong from December 1 to 9.

In addition to the 2011 AFC Asian Cup runners-up and the qualifying tournament hosts the competition will also feature Chinese Taipei, Guam and DPR Korea, who booked their ticket to the 2015 AFC Asian Cup in Australia having won the AFC Challenge Cup in Nepal back in March.

The qualifiers for the Women's EAFF East Asia Cup 2013 will be held in Shenzhen from November 20 to 24, with the 2010 AFC Women's Asian Cup champions facing hosts China, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong.

The EAFF East Asia Cup is a four-team tournament for Men & Women which is held every four years rotating between Japan, Korea Republic & China as the host nation.

The teams that will participate in the EAFF East Asia Cup for men are Japan, Korea Republic and China with a fourth team determined by a qualification process. For the women, the final tournament will involve Japan, Korea Republic, DPR Korea plus one team from the Round 2 Qualifying Tournament.

FFA CEO Ben Buckley said that Australia's presence at the EAFF East Asia Cup 2013 will be of great benefit to football in Australia and the region.

"The East Asian championship is a great opportunity for Australian football," he said.

"Our participation will enrich Australia's engagement with the fastest growing football region in Asia, including Japan, South Korea and China.

"Emerging Socceroos and Matildas will get the chance to gain valuable international experience, especially those who play in the A-League and W-League.

"The commercial opportunities are also important, so this will help Australian football at many levels."

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Dave Williams

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