Melbourne Victory will host it’s annual U-NITE blockbuster against Sydney FC at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.
U-NITE began in 2010 to celebrate multiculturalism, cultural diversity and how Melbourne Victory and football can bring together Melbourne’s richly diverse communities.
Over the years the club has been able to engage with thousands of people from multicultural backgrounds and offer unique opportunities through our community programs and engagement leading up to the main event and on the night.
A large crowd of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds will gather at Etihad Stadium to witness the intense rivalry between Hyundai A-League heavyweights Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC.
As well as a curtain-raiser match, we will also welcome Australia’s newest citizens in partnership with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
101 new Australians will become citizens at the game including completing their pledge of allegiance on the pitch prior to the game in front of the huge crowd.
While previous clashes have been played on Australia Day, this date was unavailable this season with the AFC Asian Cup taking place in January.
Melbourne Victory has developed a strong partnership with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to provide a unique experience to new Australians.
101 new Australians will be naturalised in a function pre-game with the affirmation in front of a capacity crowd taking place on pitch prior to kick-off. This year the new Australians come from 28 different backgrounds some of which include Vietnam, India, China, England, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Malaysia, Israel and Ethiopia.
Senator Scott Ryan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education will be presiding over the ceremony and Amanda Paxton, State Director will be the MC for the event.
With support from Melbourne Victory, the Asian Cup 2015, Football Federation Victoria and the Victorian Multicultural Commission the Melbourne Asian Cup tournament has become a major event on the community sports calendar.
Sixteen teams representing 14 Asian countries and guest nations have taken part this year with the final taking place at 5.30pm prior to Melbourne Victory taking on Sydney FC at 7.30pm.
Preliminary matches were played at the Darebin International Sports Centre, with some great football on show since the first round kicked-off in October. The two best teams, Australia and Vietnam will come together and have the unique experience of playing on a Hyundai A-League ground with a big crowd watching on.