Portugal-USA friendly moved from Algarve to fire-ravaged Leiria

Sad news for football fans in the Algarve. The friendly match between Portugal and USA that had been announced for November 14 at the Algarve Stadium has been moved to Leiria.

The decision has been explained as a show of support for the Leiria district, a large part of which was devastated by last weekend’s wildfires.

“Football should never shy away from its role of social responsibility. Nobody can remain indifferent to the suffering of countless families this year,” said Fernando Gomes, president of Portugal’s football federation (FPF), in a statement.

“Bringing the national team closer (to fire-ravaged areas) is a clear way to show our unconditional solidarity to everyone affected by the fires,” he added.

Gomes also said that ticket sales will go towards supporting families affected by fires in Leiria and Viseu, where Portugal’s friendly match against Saudi Arabia will be played four days earlier.

Gomes acknowledged that fans in the Algarve may be disappointed, vowing to bring another game down south soon.

“(The Algarve) has always been one of our main choices for the national team’s matches, be them friendlies or official. The Algarve and the Algarveans certainly understand this change and its importance for the populations affected by the fires.”

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