Australian footballers will be joined by some of Australia's most prominent football lovers to support the nation’s bushfire recovery efforts through Oz Football Aid; a charity match featuring greats from football, Hollywood and television.
The match, to be held as a curtain-raiser to Melbourne City and Perth Glory’s Round 16 Hyundai A-League clash at AAMI Park on Saturday 25 January, will feature Award-winning actor Anthony LaPaglia, comedian and broadcaster Ed Kavalee, Fox Sports’ commentator Simon Hill, former international goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen and TV chef Shane Delia.
A host of former internationals will also lace up the boots again to raise awareness and funds for the nation’s ongoing bushfire recovery effort, including Socceroos Craig Foster, Josip Skoko and Matildas Sarah Walsh and Kathryn Gill.
For each ticket sale to the curtain-raiser and Hyundai A-League encounter between Melbourne City FC and Perth Glory, City will donate $2 to Rural Aid.
As a part of the fundraiser, the Hyundai A-League’s major partner, Hyundai, will provide a newly released Hyundai Venue car as a fundraising prize, with all future donations of $100 or more to football’s charity partner, Rural Aid eligible to win the car.
The winner will be drawn on the day of the Hyundai A-League Grand Final, and the car will be delivered personally to the winners by Craig Foster and Anthony LaPaglia.
PFA Chief Executive John Didulica says the combined initiatives of everyone involved shows how the football community can unite to support fellow Australians in time of need.
“Uniting with the football community, particularly FFA, the Hyundai A-League, Hyundai itself and Melbourne City FC, demonstrates that football stands with those Australians who have suffered during this horrific period,” Didulica said.
“Through our initial fundraising efforts, our members have demonstrated how affected they have been by the scenes across Australia so we are really thankful that past players and other prominent members of the community are using their profile to hopefully build on the generosity we have seen across the nation.”
The PFA is looking forward to announcing more players in the days leading up to the match and a range of unique fundraising initiatives.
The Oz Football Aid initiative follows varied fundraising efforts through the PFA’s charitable arm, Footballers’ Trust, which has raised over $45,000 for player-nominated charities while the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League with clubs through their partnership with Rural Aid, have raised donations for bushfire and drought assistance to farmers, firefighters, families and their affected communities.