Support grows for holding sport on Christmas Day
Football and cricket officials have flirted with the idea for years.
Should Christmas Day games become a regular fixture of Australia’s sporting calendar?
Traditionally, all sports have allowed for rest periods on December 25, picking up again for Boxing Day.
But support is gradually shifting towards breaking the mold and holding matches on Christmas, with a Macquarie Sports Radio poll showing more than 40 percent of viewers think it’s time to bite the bullet.
While no major code has yet pulled the trigger, A-League boss Greg O’Rourke has revealed Christmas Day fixtures have been the subject of discussion as part of the competition’s divorce from Football Federation Australia.
“We had this debate only earlier this week about Christmas Day. There’s still some hesitancy for one or two dates in the Australian calendar for family and Christmas Day was seen as one of those,” Mr O’Rourke told Macquarie Sports Radio‘s Cam Reddin.
“Our competitors are moving into that space as well. I think eventually we will (have games on Christmas Day),” he said.
While his personal preference would be for Christmas Day to remain fixture-free, Mr O’Rourke accepts that commercial forces may win out.
But he says it will likely not be until the A-League has completely separated from FFA, but not for the next few seasons.
“Personally, I would like to think Christmas Day is one of those days you would keep for family, but I understand a lot of people just want to enjoy sport on a public holiday because that’s the only time they might get off,” he said.
“I’m happy with Boxing Day, New Years Day and ANZAC Day in the afternoon. For me personally, Christmas Day is sacred”.
“But in the end, it will be what the fans want and that will be where the answer lies,” Mr O’Rourke said.
Hear the full interview below and listen to the Weekend Warm-Up with Cam Reddin – 6am-8am Sunday mornings