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Media release: Good Friday football an affront

The tradition of Good Friday should be respected by keeping it free from football, says Bishop Philip Huggins.

AFL on Good Friday an affront

March 22 2016Media reports suggest Good Friday football, already approved by the AFL Commission, will begin next year. This would be an affront which is neither necessary nor kind, according to Melbourne Anglican Bishop Philip Huggins.

There is quiet and significant gratitude in our community for the way the AFL have always respected the sacred nature of Good Friday. For the code, this stands in stark contrast to the rest of the Easter holiday, Bishop Huggins says.

AFL games fill most waking hours from Maundy Thursday to Easter Monday – except Good Friday. There is a game even at 1pm Easter Sunday, a traditional time to celebrate with family in breaking the Holy Week fast.

The AFL has wanted to rekindle its connection with fans, recognising some have felt alienated for various reasons. It is hard to overstate the sadness and the hurt should Good Friday be invaded by another game, Bishop Huggins says.

“For some it would just be a commercial opportunity waiting to be exploited. For others (including many of the large cohort of Christians who are football fans), it would be deeply distressing.

“I pray the tradition of Good Friday is respected. A clear and positive statement to this effect from the AFL this week would be much appreciated.”