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Published on June 7th, 2010 | by john.weir

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Sydney hosts spectacular football festival for World Cup

Aussie soccer star Lucas Neill is encouraging football fans to visit Sydney to enjoy all the thrill and spectacle of the world’s greatest game throughout June and July 2010.

The former Everton, West Ham and Blackburn Rovers defender has been recruited by the New South Wales Government for a TV commercial to promote Sydney’s selection by FIFA as one of only six cities globally to officially host an official International Fan Fest event.

Neill, who will captain Australia’s Socceroos in this year’s competition, said thousands of football fans from around the world would visit the Sydney FIFA Fan Fest TM site.“Sydney’s always known how to play,” said Neill.  “During the FIFA World Cup, as one of only six International FIFA Fan Fest TM cities worldwide, there’s going to be as much action off the field as there is on it.”

“It’s what makes Sydney so Sydney,” said Neill.

From 11th June to 12th July, Sydney’s Darling Harbour will be transformed as football fever grips the city.

Fans will be able to watch all the matches live on four giant screens – three of which will be floating in Sydney’s Darling Harbour – at Cockle Bay and in Tumbalong Park.

Throughout the tournament there will be an exciting entertainment programme broadcasting live matches and featuring interactive family activities, freestyle football displays, children’s football workshops, live music and a superb variety of multicultural cuisine to enjoy.

Australia’s first ever floating football pitch, situated in Darling Harbour, will also play host to the Street Soccer National Championships – a community initiative of The Big Issue, where players from diverse backgrounds will compete in a unique event.

All the live matches will take place throughout the evening local time, leaving plenty of time for visitors to explore Sydney’s breathtaking beauty and famous sights during the day.

In addition to the city’s classic visitor experiences, sports fans can enjoy a number of other sporting attractions in and around the city. Sydney Olympic Park, host of the 2000 Olympics and the 2003 Rugby World Cup, offers various tours; and tourists can get a taste for ‘Aussie Rules’ at a Sydney Swans match.For cricket fans, it is just a short journey to Bowral to visit the Bradman Museum of Cricket and learn more about the world’s greatest ever cricketer, Sir Donald Bradman. Active travellers will also find endless options in Sydney, from cycling, running and kayaking tours to surfing, swimming and hiking.

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