Proceeds from the 2017 FA Community Shield will be donated to support all those tragically affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.
The FA – alongside Arsenal, Chelsea and McDonald’s – is hoping to raise in the region of £1.25m for the victims.
The FA Community Shield will see Emirates FA Cup winners Arsenal take on Premier League champions Chelsea at Wembley Stadium connected by EE on Sunday 6 August. The fixture is the traditional curtain-raiser for the English professional season, and has a long history of raising money for a variety of charity and community sources.
The FA, Arsenal and Chelsea have decided that this year’s FA Community Shield will provide an opportunity for football to play its part in helping to bring some relief to the families affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. Alongside the donation, the families of the victims and survivors will be invited as guests to the game along with all those emergency service personnel who performed their duties with such bravery.
FA Chairman Greg Clarke said: “Like the rest of the country, we were all deeply saddened by the terrible incident at Grenfell Tower. The suffering and loss for those involved is unimaginable.
“Whilst only a football match, we hope that in some small way through the Community Shield we can help. Two great London clubs will come together to play at the city’s most famous stadium just a few miles from Kensington. They will be united in their passion for football, grief at this tragic loss and support for their community.
“Football is for all, and we hope that on Sunday 6 August it can in its own way give something back to those who are most in need.”
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis said: “With the rest of the nation, Arsenal Football Club was shocked by the incident at Grenfell Tower and our hearts go out to all those affected by this tragedy.
“The club stands side by side with Chelsea in reaching out to the community and expressing our support and solidarity for those who have lost friends and family, their homes and their sense of security in the wake of this tragic event.
“We also pay tribute to our city’s emergency services who showed immense courage and bravery. We play the FA Community Shield on Sunday 6 August for the victims and the heroes of this terrible tragedy.”
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck added: “It was with profound shock and sorrow we learnt of the tragedy that befell so many people in Kensington last week.
“Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those who lost their lives and our deepest sympathy goes out to anybody who may have suffered in any way due to the dreadful fire at Grenfell Tower.
“We believe it is appropriate and timely that the first major football match involving top-flight clubs to take place in our city since the tragedy will be dedicated in such a way to the victims and survivors, and to the enormous number of heroes of the rescue operation, especially given this occasion’s long history of being played for the benefit of the wider community and people in need of support.
“We at Chelsea Football Club hope this FA Community Shield match with Arsenal will provide such support once again.”