Five-day tournament scrapped

October 11, 2017

Shepparton is expected to miss out on more than $500000 after the Asian Football Confederation under-19s qualifiers in November were scrapped.

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop confirmed the five-day tournament would not take place in Shepparton after denying visas to the North Korean team because of the country’s ‘‘illegal nuclear and missile development programs’’.

Committee for Greater Shepparton chief executive Sam Birrell understood the government’s decision, but was upset the region was unable to showcase such an event.

‘‘It is really disappointing that our region loses such a great event like this because of political issues that are out of our control,’’ Mr Birrell said.

‘‘In saying that, we respect the decision of the government and I am sure they are trying to do what is in the best interests of the country.’’

City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Dinny Adem said the event would have been a huge economic boost for the area, generating more than half a million, while also attracting about 3000 interstate and international spectators to the region.

Matches were expected to take place from November 4 to 8 at the newly-furbished McEwen Reserve, with more than 160 competitors and officials embarking on the region.

Despite the unfortunate circumstances, a Victorian Government spokesperson declared they will continue to support the Goulburn Valley in attracting events to the area.

‘‘We’ll continue working to bring the best of the best to Shepparton and regional Victoria,’’ a spokesperson said.

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