NRL and AFL receive backing over Anzac Round as fans remain divided

The NRL and AFL have no plan to restrict Anzac commemorations to a single day.

The Anzac Round is here to stay in Australia's major football codes despite calls for commemorations to be restricted to April 25. A number of football fans voiced their concerns over Anzac ceremonies being conducted up to four days after Anzac Day, potentially diluting the significance of the occasion.

In the NRL, all eight games from Anzac Day through to Sunday featured the Ode, the Last Post and a minute's silence before kick-off. The AFL commenced its Anzac Round on April 24 and continued with ceremonies through to April 28.

Yahoo Sport Australia's initial story on the Anzac Round debate created huge interest and split supporters down the middle. "I 100% agree Anzac round should be for the games played on that day. If the teams want to wear jerseys (to remember our fallen heroes) on the other days, fine," one fan wrote.

The NRL and AFL have no plan to restrict Anzac celebrations to a single day. Image: Getty
The NRL and AFL have no plan to restrict Anzac commemorations to a single day. Image: Getty

"The minute silence yes, but the ceremonies should be kept for Anzac Day only…that’s just my opinion." Another countered: "Irrespective of which format, NRL or AFL, it is the ANZAC round and it gives everyone an opportunity to pay their respects and remember the fallen. Lest We Forget. This is what it's all about."


The AFL and NRL work closely with RSL Australia to ensure Anzac Round is given the reverence it deserves and there are no plans to restrict ceremonies to a single day. RSL Australia national president Greg Melick said: "The RSL appreciates the support of sporting codes in commemorating ANZAC Day, particularly on the day itself or at fixtures over the weekend.

"The commemorations at the sporting fixtures are a feature of ANZAC Day and are important for people who may not be able to attend the dawn or morning Cenotaph services. The RSL has worked with the sporting codes and their clubs for a number of years and the commemorations and veteran support have continued to grow.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 25: A general view during the ANZAC Day ceremony prior to the round eight NRL match between Melbourne Storm and South Sydney Rabbitohs at AAMI Park, on April 25, 2024, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

"Support for the veteran community includes the provision of free tickets to matches for veterans, and funds are raised through the sale of commemorative jerseys, donation of jerseys to RSL clubs for fundraising and the promotion of the ANZAC Appeal.

"The Anzac rounds in the AFL, NRL, Super Rugby and other sporting events provide the opportunity to remember and commemorate all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. As well as the importance of the sporting commemorations, the RSL values the support provided by the sporting codes for veterans and the funds raised assist in funding veteran services."