The Football Association of England has been named after Prince William’s mental health push – Heads Up. Lead partner Emirates has donated their title to the campaign.
As a result, the showpiece event in the football calendar, provisionally scheduled to take place on Saturday 1 August 2020, will be known as the Heads Up FA Cup Final, FA has stated.
Heads Up, spearheaded by the Duke of Cambridge, is a partnership between the FA and Heads Together to harness the influence and popularity of football to change the conversation on mental health.
The season-long Heads Up campaign was launched at the FA Community Shield and has been visible across all levels of football in England throughout the course of the 2019-20 season.
Godric Smith, chair of the Heads Up campaign, said: “We’re extremely grateful to the FA and to Emirates for this unprecedented gesture of support. Dedicating the final of football’s most iconic domestic cup competition to Heads Up is a huge statement about the importance of mental health and their commitment to it.
“Given the many different impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever that we talk about our mental health and help support one another, and the Heads Up FA Cup Final will hopefully generate many more of those conversations amongst fans and the football community.”
William during a video call with the Arsenal squad had announced that the August 1 finale to the English season at Wembley Stadium would be known as the “Heads Up FA Cup final” rather than having the sponsorship of Emirates airline in the title.
“We’re going to really use the final as a moment to promote good, positive mental health for everyone,” the prince said. “It’s quite timely bearing in mind what we’ve all been through with this pandemic.
“I think there’s going to be, sadly, a lot of repercussions from this in society, not just in football, in terms of people’s mental health. Hopefully the FA Cup can be a bit of a pivot that people can rally around.”
The cup final was due to be played in May but the competition was suspended as sport was shut down in England in March to prevent COVID-19 spreading.