Sydney (AP/UNB) — Former Premier League stars Didier Drogba, Dwight Yorke and Park Ji-Sung are among an initial group of international footballers confirmed for an exhibition match in Sydney in May to aid in the country’s recovery from devastating wildfires.
The first release of players for the ‘Football for Fires’ match, which will be played at Sydney’s Olympic Stadium on May 23, will also include Emile Heskey, Dario Simic, Geremi, Pedro Mendes, Major League Soccer striker Dwayne de Rosario and former Juventus stars David Trezeguet and Claudio Marchisio.
Several Australian ‘Socceroos’ will also participate, including former Manchester United and Chelsea goalkeeper Mark Bosnich, John Aloisi and recently retired captain Mark Milligan.
Football Federation Australia said in a statement Tuesday “all proceeds from the match will go toward the restoration and improvement of local football clubs and facilities in fire-affected areas nationwide.”
The wildfires have claimed at least 33 lives in Australia since September, destroyed more than 3,000 homes and razed more than 10.6 million hectares (26 million acres). That’s an area larger than the U.S state of Kentucky.