Pride Cup Australia, Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United partner for the 2023 A-Leagues Pride Cup

Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United will set aside their rivalry, coming together to celebrate LGBTI+ inclusion in football, as they compete for the A-Leagues Pride Cup at AAMI Park on Sunday 26 February, 2023.

This historic community partnership with Pride Cup Australia will see Victory host a spectacular double-header event at AAMI Park, with the Men going head-to-head at 3pm while the Women face-off at 6pm.

Pride Cup Australia represents a national movement changing sporting culture and uniting communities through education and events. Working with all levels of sport, Pride Cup is helping clubs to create environments where every LGBTI+ person feels included, accepted, and proud to be who they are.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 26: Melbourne Victory player Kayla Morrison, Adelaide United player Anne Grove and Melbourne Victory player George Timotheou.

Since 2018, Pride Cup has worked with over 450 clubs in more than 15 sporting codes across Australia.

Pride Cup began working with Adelaide United in October 2021, following Josh Cavallo’s brave decision to come out as, at the time, the only openly-gay, active professional male football player in the world.

Together, the inaugural A-Leagues Pride Cup was born; hosted by Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium and involving Melbourne Victory’s Women’s team in February 2022.

Pride Cup Chief Executive Officer, James Lolicato (he/him), said: “We are so thrilled to be partnered with Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United to celebrate LGBTI+ inclusion in football.

“Working with two clubs so enthusiastic and dedicated to creating meaningful change in the culture of sport is very special, and we couldn’t be prouder to deliver this event.

“With 78% of LGBTI+ people not feeling safe as spectators at sporting events, this is a huge opportunity to show LGBTI+ people that football can be a safe and welcoming place for all.

“Through the 2023 Pride Cup, we have a fantastic opportunity to both celebrate the wonderful LGBTI+ players, fans, and officials of the game, deliver important education, and highlight how sport can change hearts and minds.”

Melbourne Victory Managing Director, Caroline Carnegie (she/her), said: “We’re incredibly proud to be hosting the A-Leagues Pride Cup in 2023 after the success of last season’s launch and we’re looking forward to working with Adelaide United and the Pride Cup to make this fixture a mainstay in the A-Leagues calendar.

“Melbourne Victory was established as a Club for everyone and the chance to celebrate LGBTI+ inclusion in football with both our Men’s and Women’s sides on the same day truly reflects this.

“Pride Cup will be a celebration of all that is great about our game and how the football field is a place that only differentiates sides by the colour of their shirts.” 

Adelaide United Chief Executive Officer, Nathan Kosmina (he/him), said: “Following last season’s monumental Pride Game at Coopers Stadium, we’re extremely proud to continue supporting the work of Pride Cup Australia alongside Melbourne Victory.

“This annual fixture will ensure LGBTI+ inclusion is a consistent theme raised amongst A-Leagues supporters and will aid in helping those from the LGBTI+ community feel safe and welcome in football. 

“We saw tremendous support for our Pride Game last season and we’re confident that will only continue to increase for many years to come.

“Our appreciation goes to Pride Cup Australia for assisting us in developing this event and want to thank Melbourne Victory for aligning with our Club for this important cause.”

About Pride Cup Australia:

Pride Cup works with all levels of sport to break down barriers and make sport safe, welcoming, and inclusive for LGBTI+ people through education and events.

More information:

– Only 6% of young LGBTI+ people have participated in team sports because they don’t feel safe or welcome to (LGBTQI+ participation in sport survey 2021 – Pantene Australia)
– 87% of young gay men do not feel comfortable coming out in their sporting environment
– 74% of lesbians are partially or completely in the closet while playing youth sport, fearing discrimination from players & officials
– 78% of people surveyed in the 2015 Out On The Fields study believed an openly gay person would not be very safe as a spectator at a sporting event
• Homophobic language in sporting clubs reduces by up to 40% when a Pride Cup event and education session is held