Countless football fans across Australia are seething following the announcement from the A-Leagues that Pride Celebration will be re-introduced this season.
In a bid to celebrate inclusivity, the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) has set aside March 8-10 in Australia and March 30 in New Zealand as the dates for supporters to embrace sexual diversity.
It follows the A-Leagues in 2023 becoming the first competition in the world to hold simultaneous men’s and women’s Pride Celebrations.
A-Leagues Commissioner Nick Garcia felt the Pride Celebration was another example of how ‘welcoming and inclusive football is as a sport for everyone in Australia and New Zealand.’
Central Coast Mariners women’s skipper Taren King was on the same page, and can’t wait for the round to be widely celebrated.
Countless football fans across Australia are up in arms following the announcement from the A-Leagues that Pride Celebration will again be staged this season
Central Coast Mariners skipper Taren King can’t wait for the round to be widely celebrated
In 2021, Adelaide United defender Josh Cavallo confirmed he was gay, as he was sick of ‘leading a double life’
‘I’m really excited for Pride round this season. Last year we saw a number of clubs make a big effort to show their support for the LGBTQI+ community and I’m looking forward to seeing more clubs get around the initiative this season,’ she said.
‘I think it’s so important that both clubs and players use their platforms to show our fans that everyone has a place in our game and all individuals are accepted for who they are.’
The reaction however, from supporters was very different on social media who want to see action to fix flagging attendances and alarming dips in revenue addressed.
One posted on X, formerly known as Twitter: ‘You guys make it hard to continue supporting this league,’ while another said: ‘why don’t you just focus on football.’
A third fan weighed in with: ‘Our wonderful game in Australia is a complete mess and this [brain fart of an idea] won’t help.
‘You should be trying to win fans not lose them.’
2GB radio host Chris O’Keefe slammed the Australian football body on Friday for its mismanagement of funds in recent years.
‘How has the A-Leagues burned through $140million in less than three years?’ he asked.
It comes after the recent report from Fairfax revealed almost half of the workforce behind the A-Leagues were to be made redundant.
In addition, the A-Leagues’ media division KEEPUP – said to have cost at least $30million to establish and maintain – has collapsed and will shut down on March 1.
Adelaide United – featuring openly gay star Josh Cavello – and Melbourne Victory will headline the A-Leagues Pride Celebration on local shores come March 9.
Coopers Stadium will host the annual Pride Cup, with the women’s match (5pm) part of a double header ahead of the men’s fixture at 7.45pm.