AFL rules out playing on Good Friday - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL rules out playing on Good Friday

By Adam Cooper 16/06/2008 06:23:00 PM Comments (0)

North Melbourne chief executive Eugene Arocca wants the Kangaroos to be considered first if the AFL ever decides to play a game on Good Friday.

The league on Monday ruled out scheduling a match on the Christian holy day in 2009, but Arocca warned the changing face of Australian society meant the AFL would continue to field requests to play games on the Easter Friday.

North this month made a pitch to the AFL to play on Good Friday next year in a bid to soften the blow of backing out of the $1.2 million deal to play games on the Gold Coast.

The Kangaroos had wanted to play Carlton on Good Friday and combine the game with sending proceeds to the annual Royal Children's Hospital appeal.

But the AFL on Monday said its executive had decided to continue with games on the Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the Easter long weekend.

"We absolutely respect the AFL's decision to not look at Good Friday in 2009," Arocca said.

"What we do say, however, is that Australia is getting increasingly multicultural, which is not totally Christian, and I would imagine that the Good Friday issue will continue to be revisited.

"If it is going to be revisited, we want to to be a part of it.

"I'm not surprised by their decision, we respect it and we're happy to hang on to Easter Monday.

"If we can hang on to that and play Essendon every year we'd be happy."

The Kangaroos are exploring how to recoup some of the money they will miss by not playing on the Gold Coast next year, given North last year committed their future to staying in Melbourne rather than migrating north.

Central to improving finances is negotiating a better deal for hosting games at Telstra Dome.

"I'd settle for a better stadium deal any day of the week ahead of a specific remedy for 2009," Arocca said.

Arocca said North and the AFL were in discussions about a new commercial opportunity but the only detail he offered was that Melbourne's multicultural community could be involved.

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