Smallest 2015 Asian Cup stadium could increase capacity

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Newcastle (Australia), Jan 19 (IANS) The organisers of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup are considering increasing the capacity at Newcastle stadium, which is the smallest of five venues here.

The stadium could stage a potentially explosive semi-final between hosts Australia and defending champions Japan Jan 27, which has put the organisers under pressure to open up the standing grassy areas to fans, reports Xinhua.

The venue can accommodate 23,000 spectators while in A-League the capacity can reach as many as 33,000 when fans are allowed to watch the games from the grassy areas behind the goal posts on either end.

But the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) barred ticket sales for non-seating areas behind the goals last Saturday.

A spokesperson of the Australian Local Organising Committee said their other option would be to switch the match to a bigger venue, which is still under consideration.

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