Brisbane hosts dramatic Pride Football Australia tournament

Melbourne Rovers won the Justin Fashanu Cup

Brisbane Inferno hosted the 2023 Pride Football Australia (PFA) tournament with six teams battling for three trophies. 

Almost 100 players from across Australia descended on Brisbane’s Perry Park for the PFA tournament.

The day celebrated LGBTQIA+ football with three titles up for grabs for the competing teams.

Brisbane Inferno FC President Jake Hendrie told QNews the tournament was a big win for the club after holding a smaller version in 2021.

“For us to host again in 2023 with six teams from four states is pretty bloody amazing,” he said.

The teams competing were Brisbane Inferno FC (men’s and women’s), Sydney Rangers, The Flying Bats, Melbourne Rovers, and Perth Pride.

The tournament was opened by Councillor Vicki Howard, with Brisbane City Council being one of the main supporters.

Alongside the Council, Jake from Brisbane Inferno said the day wouldn’t have occurred without some key partners.

“We also have Football Queensland with us today who have pulled together the referees, without that we couldn’t have a tournament. Also, another large supporter and partner is Brisbane Strikers. We’ve worked with Bruce the CEO and Julianna the Chairwoman and they’ve worked with us to make Perry Park our home field,” he said.

The Josh Cavallo Shield

The opening game was a clash between Brisbane Inferno FC and a combined PFA team for the Josh Cavallo Shield.

The trophy is named after Australian footballer Josh Cavallo who plays for A League side Adelaide United. Josh came out to his teammates, and the world, in October 2021.

The clash for the shield was open to both male and non-binary players and proved to be a close contest.

After an early goal to Brisbane, the team dominated much of the first half narrowly missing a chance to go further in front when a strike hit the cross-bar.

A rejuvenated PFA team dominated possession in the second-half and got a deserved equaliser with just minutes to go.

With scores locked at 1-1 after extra time, the game went to penalties, with PFA edging the contest.

Justin Fashanu Cup

The clash between the male teams of Sydney Rangers and Melbourne Rovers has been a long-standing rivalry.

Each time these two meet, it is a hard-fought affair and this weekend’s clash was no different.

The game had it all, with three goals in the first half-hour and three red cards given throughout the game.

With Sydney defending a 2-1 lead, the constant waves of Melbourne attack proved fruitless until the final seconds.

Melbourne curled a corner past the Sydney goalkeeper to see them equalise with the last kick of the regular time.

After extra-time it was still 2-2 and the second game of the day went to penalties.

The shoot-out had more drama than the Matildas’ epic victory over France at the World Cup.

Sydney had multiple chances to win, however, Melbourne’s replacement goalkeeper stopped them all including a stretch-of-a-leg save when the strike looked to have beaten him.

The shoot-out went so long that the full cycle of each team was used with many players having to take two spot kicks.

Eventually, the Melbourne Rovers won the epic encounter 8-7 on penalties.

The win sparked wild scenes from the Victorians and silenced the passionate Sydney supporters in the stands.

Julie Murray Cup

The final game of the day was a women’s encounter between Brisbane Inferno FC and a PFA team which included many players from The Flying Bats.

The trophy is named after Julie Murray who played over 60 games for the Matildas from 1987 to 2000.

This was the first time Brisbane Inferno had a women’s team competing in the tournament and they had an epic come-from-behind victory.

The experience of many PFA players showed early, with the team taking a 2-0 lead.

However, Brisbane fought back to turn around the game to ultimately take out a high-scoring game 5-3.

Although there were three champions on the day, the true winner was the promotion of LGBTQIA+ participation and comradery in football.

Brisbane Inferno’s President Jake Hendrie felt that the day had been a true success.

“It’s been brilliant, you’ve seen the energy of the crowd and one of the excellent things about Pride Football Australia is everyone coming together. You see the friendships that have formed over the years,” he said.

Visit Pride Football Australia’s Facebook and Instagram accounts for more information about LGBTQIA+ participation.

For the latest LGBTIQA+ Sister Girl and Brother Boy news, entertainment, community stories in Australia, visit Check out our latest magazines or find us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Dale Roberts

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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