Key PointsA percentage of player match fees would be directed towards Oxfam’s humanitarian efforts in Gaza.”It’s unfathomable to comprehend,” midfielder Jackson Irvine said of the situation in Gaza.Palestinian officials say more than 11,000 Gaza residents have been killed in air and artillery strikes.
The Socceroos will donate a portion of their match fees from their World Cup qualifier against the Palestinian team towards humanitarian causes in Gaza.
The match in Kuwait on Tuesday was going to be held in the Occupied West Bank but was relocated due to the
in the region.
More than 12,000 Palestinians have been killed in
on Gaza, according to the health ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza.
Israel vowed to annihilate the Hamas militant group that controls the Gaza Strip following a 7 October rampage into Israel in which its fighters killed 1,200 people and dragged 240 hostages into the enclave.
“It’s unfathomable to comprehend,” midfielder Jackson Irvine said. “You’re talking about one of the most complicated geopolitical issues of the last 100 years.
“It’s something we’re aware of, something we have spoken about as a group and as staff in terms of not just the game, but recognising what that means for us.
“Even thinking about the Palestinian players themselves and what this game means for them as individuals and trying to process playing football in a time like this. It’s a difficult situation to process.
“But for us as players we’ve spoken about it and through the PFA we will approach some kind of contribution or awareness of trying to play some role.”
The players’ union, Professional Footballers Australia, confirmed a percentage of player match fees would be directed towards Oxfam’s humanitarian efforts in Gaza, via the PFA’s Footballers’ Trust.
The move is a player-led effort with Football Australia matching the players’ donations.
“The thoughts of the PFA are with all of those impacted by the conflict and the humanitarian crisis that is unfolding as a result,” co-chief executive officer Beau Busch said in a statement.
“Aid agencies and humanitarian groups have been clear on the scale of need and the players were able to play a part.
“The Socceroos have long used their platform for positive impact and this is another example of their commitment to Australian football being a force for good.”
Irvine, who is the PFA president along with captaining German club FC St. Pauli, insisted citizens needed to be the priority.
“At the end of the day, I support any humanitarian cause,” Irvine said.
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