Canberra United and Brisbane Roar will host two ‘Green Games’ in the A-Leagues across March and April, with players and clubs using the fixtures to reduce the impact of football on the environment. 

The first of the two games will see Canberra United host Wellington Phoenix at McKellar Park on March 24 in the A-League Women, before Brisbane Roar host Newcastle Jets in the A-League Men at Suncorp Stadium on April 13.

The two matches will focus on reducing carbon pollution, offsetting unavoidable emissions, introducing new sustainable practices at clubs, and will raise awareness about the relationship between climate change and football.

The Green Games were devised by the PFA’s group of climate-conscious players, ‘Our Greener Pitch’, which includes players from across the A-Leagues and Australia’s national teams. 

The matches build on recent action by the Socceroos and Matildas at FIFA World Cups in offsetting their carbon emissions, and follow similar initiatives, such as the Green Football Weekend held in the United Kingdom in February, and the biggest player-led climate action in football history on the eve of last year’s 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

A-Leagues players have experienced the direct impacts of climate change during their careers, with extreme heat, bushfires, smoke, and flooding affecting match fixturing and player welfare.

Canberra United’s Emma Ilijoski, who is a member of the PFA’s Our Greener Pitch and has spearheaded the Green Game concept, said the matches would encourage clubs, players, and the A-Leagues to adopt policies that will reduce the professional game’s environmental impact, while setting an example for other sports and industries.

“I’m so excited for the Green Games coming up. A huge amount of work has been put into these games behind the scenes by the players across the past 12 months, and while it represents a small step, it’s a step in the right direction toward more sustainable practices in the A-Leagues,” Ilijoski said.

“Our hope is that there will be a platform for other clubs across the A-Leagues and our national teams to replicate. Football will need to move towards a carbon neutral future, so the players are doing their bit to start that process.

“As climate change becomes more and more of an issue for players, it’s an opportunity for us to use our platform and showcase some of the changes we can make to reduce our impact.”

As the home clubs, Canberra and Brisbane will promote sustainable practices on their match day, including reducing single-use plastics and providing more sustainable food options for supporters.

The emissions from the flights of the away teams, Wellington and Newcastle, respectively, will be offset by the Australian Professional Leagues (APL).

Uber will provide free  Comfort Electric rides to Canberra United players and staff, while fans purchasing a match day ticket will receive an Uber discount code for  Uber Pool rides to and from the match. 

The PFA will conduct education sessions with Canberra, Wellington, Newcastle and Brisbane Roar, with support from FrontRunnersan organisation that takes sport from the sidelines to centre court on climate.

In addition, the PFA will release a report on football’s impact on the climate later this month, designed to educate the clubs, players, and the broader Australian football community on the issue. 

Match Details 

Green Game 1 

Sunday 24 March 2024
Liberty A-League Women
Canberra United vs. Wellington Phoenix 
McKellar Park, Canberra 
Kick-Off: 2pm 

Green Game 2 

Saturday 13 April 2024 
Isuzu-UTE A-League Men
Brisbane Roar vs. Newcastle Jets
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane 
Kick-Off: 5.30pm