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Brisbane ball boy proves to be "Wang" for China at AFC Asian Football Cup

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: As part of the AFC Asian Cup 2015 currently underway in Australia, ball boy Stephen White, 12, has been hailed a lucky charm for China's AFC Asian Cup team after giving their goalkeeper, Wang Dalei a match-winning tip for the game against Saudi Arabia during the penalty kick.

Stephen White and Wang Dalei’s story has been making world headlines in newspapers and websites. 

It is no coincidence that Dalei’s surname (Wang) translates to the Chinese meaning of “lucky and prosperous”. 

For Wang Dalei the AFC Asian Cup 2015 in Australia has already become a tournament the China goalkeeper is never likely to forget. China’s opening match against Saudi Arabia was on Wang’s 26th birthday and the goalkeeper saved a second-half penalty from Saudi striker Naif Hazazi with the sides deadlocked. 

Before Hazazi stepped up, Wang took an unusual approach of consulting the ballboy behind his goal, asking him which way to dive for the spot-kick. After the final whistle had blown, Wang made a point of going over to White and embracing the youngster, calling him his “lucky charm”.

Stephen White said, “it feels incredible and pretty interesting that I’ve been named their lucky charm”.

Stephen’s advice to the goalkeeper has not only paved the way for China to play against Australia in the quarter final, but has also brought the two sporting nations closer together and helped to build even stronger relations between the two countries. 

In the spirit of friendship and sportsmanship, Stephen White invited our Chinese visitors to see some of Queensland and visit the Great Barrier Reef and our beautiful beaches.

Stephen said if he could invite the Chinese football team to Queensland he would take them to Hamilton Island and the Great Barrier Reef and also show them the sand dunes on Stradbroke Island just off the coast of Brisbane.

For the upcoming quarter final match between Australia and China Stephen said, “My heart says Australia but my gut says China and I’m going to go for the goalkeepers at the game.”

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Media contact
Bruce Wallace, Tourism and Events Queensland
E: bruce.wallace@queensland.com 
T: +61 (0)7 3535 5405
M: +61 (0) 407 137 922

For more information on Queensland visit Queensland.com

The Asian Cup presents an exciting opportunity to celebrate and honour the place of sport in Australia and further strengthen the relationships between participating countries. Beyond an outstanding football tournament, friendly people, beautiful natural attractions, exceptional food and wine and spectacular beaches make Australia the perfect backdrop to host the AFC Asian Cup 2015. Brisbane is the capital of the stunning subtropical state of Queensland and gateway to the region’s many attractions. The city is known for its outdoor lifestyle, international sporting events, shopping, cultural shows and exhibitions, dining scene and much more. Brisbane is Australia’s third largest city and home to nearly two million culturally diverse people. The city is electric with energy with an extensive music and culture event calendar. The world-class sporting venues, conference facilities, parklands and river walks create a vibrant metropolitan city serviced by a modern international airport and cruise ship terminal.