The AFL, its 18 Clubs and AFL / AFLW players through the AFL Players’ Association have announced a donation of $2.5 million to support Australia as a result of bushfires.
A donation of $1 million will immediately go to towards relief efforts and provide emergency assistance on the ground through the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery fund. A further $1.5 million will be donated into a Community Relief Fund set up by the AFL that will support local communities. The $2.5 million donation includes $900,000 from the 18 clubs, the AFL and AFLW players have contributed $250,000 and the AFL have contributed $1.35 million.
Additionally, a State of Origin match on Friday 28 February at Marvel Stadium will see all money raised further support the Community Relief Fund.
It will be broadcast Live by the Seven Network and Foxtel, and via Kayo and the AFL Live App thanks to Telstra, along with radio partners to be confirmed shortly.
AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan said, “Our industry is heartbroken by the devastation that the fires are causing around the country and our clubs and players have suggested a number of initiatives where we can support affected communities in the short and longer term as they deal with the aftermath of these fires.
“A game of footy can’t change what has happened but it is a way for all of our Clubs, our players and our fans to acknowledge the incredible sacrifice that so many have made in battling the fires and to support those communities that have been impacted by the bushfires.
“We know that those communities are suffering now but they are also going to need our support as they start to rebuild. Sport builds bonds within communities and we want people to know they have the support of the entire football industry and that we will be there to help them rebuild facilities and programs and ensure people continue to come together. The State of Origin game will help raise further funds to support that ongoing rebuild.
“I want to thank our players and clubs for their commitment to doing something substantial that raises money and clearly demonstrates the support to the local football communities of those areas impacted. Our clubs and our AFL and AFLW players are also working on a number of other initiatives to raise money and to support those communities in need and we will continue to work with them over the coming weeks and months to continue to coordinate our efforts.
“On behalf of the AFL community, I also want to thank firefighters, members of the have given up their time – and in some cases their lives -to protect others. We are grateful for what you have done for our community.
“Through the rebuild stage, we will work closely with local business, local tradesmen and local suppliers to ensure what we are doing also supports the local economy.
“We are also working closely with other national sports to ensure that we coordinate our response and we will continue discussions with the Federal and State Governments on how we best work together to provide ongoing support until these communities are back on their feet.”
Seven West Media Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer James Warburton said: “We’re proud to be partnering with the AFL to broadcast the State of Origin match on Seven on Friday 28 February, to support the bushfire relief effort. This is a great initiative, and we’re working on putting our full 7Sport AFL team on the broadcast. This match comes on top of our partnership with TEG on the Fire Fight Australia benefit concert on Sunday 16 February, and our partnership with The Salvation Army on the Bushfire Disaster Appeal.
“We have seen massive interest in 7NEWS’ reporting on how to support the recovery effort with over half a million people visiting 7NEWS.com.au’s articles on how to help since New Year’s Day, and the special bushfire editions of The Latest on Facebook Watch having over seven million views. We’re continuing to work on other ways we can support the bushfire recovery effort and hope to share more soon.”
Further details of the State of Origin match, including team selections will be announced in coming weeks.