Following the devastating bushfires that have recently affected much of Australia and on the back of a long and arduous drought for our rural communities Football Federation Australia (FFA) has announced that it will dedicate the upcoming two Rounds of the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League to acknowledge these disasters and raise much needed funds to assist those who have been impacted by these events.
Both Leagues had planned to host drought relief fundraising in partnership with Rural Aid and their charity arm buyabale.com.au for the round beginning 16 January and ending 19 January 2020.
It was to be renamed the "HAY League round".
However, in light of the Bushfire crisis, the fundraising efforts will now extend over two rounds and incorporate both tragedies.
Eleven of the twelve clubs will host home matches in Rounds 14 & 15 of the Hyundai A-League and Rounds 9 & 10 of the Westfield W-League, including Glory who take on Adelaide United in a Hyundai A-League clash at HBF Park on Saturday 11 January.
At each of these matches, fans will be able to show their appreciation to the emergency services and volunteers who have worked tirelessly throughout this crisis and also acknowledge the tragic loss of life in NSW, Victoria and SA.
At the same time, there will be the opportunity at the matches to raise much needed funds for assistance to families and their broader communities that have been affected by either the fires or the drought and in some instances, both.
FFA is also discussing with its State and Territory Member Federations what further national fund raising initiatives to support the relief effort could be implemented and will provide an update over the coming days.
In the meantime FFA is encouraging the football family to contribute to any of the recognised charity partners noting that they will be directing their funds in particular to:
- the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Appeal (fundraise.redcross.org.au/drr)
- Bushfire Disaster Appeal (www.communityenterprisefoundation.com.au/make-a-donation) and
- Buy a Bale (www.buyabale.com.au)
FFA Chairman Chris Nikou expressed his sadness and concerns for those directly affected by the bushfires and drought and encouraged all football fans to support this worthy cause.
"Our thoughts go out to all that have been deeply affected by the recent bushfires around the country, in particular to those that have lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods," he said.
"Many within the football family have been affected and as with any family, it is during these trying times that family members help each other in any way we can.
"I am proud to say that during the upcoming rounds of the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League, we will be able to continue to raise valuable funds to support those affected by this disaster and also recognise those who have worked tirelessly to fight the fires and save homes and businesses.
"We will also take this opportunity to raise much needed funds for drought relief in Australia and I encourage all members of the Football Family to donate whatever they can to help all these communities rebuild."