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UNSW will support the Sky Blues campaign against the top football teams in Asia as Sydney FC's major partner in the 2016 AFC Champions League.

The partnership was announced by Sydney FC at their Champions League launch this week, and UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor Ian Jacobs said it was a natural fit for the University.

“Many of our 35,000 domestic students and 15,000-strong international student body enjoy watching football. Through this partnership with Sydney FC we are opening up access to some of the best football in the country right next door to UNSW,” Professor Jacobs said.

Sydney FC chief Tony Pignata welcomed the collaboration.

“UNSW is one of the most recognised and highly regarded higher education institutions in the country,” he said.

“As one of the leading clubs in Australian football we feel that this partnership is a great fit and will connect our strong brands in Asia. “

Professor Jacobs said the partnership built on longstanding ties between UNSW Australia and Sydney FC through Football United, a development program for youth from disadvantaged communities.

Founded by the UNSW School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Football United has been a charity partner of Sydney FC since 2007, and captain Alex Brosque is a program ambassador.

Global education leader, UNSW Global, has joined UNSW as a major partner of the Sky Blues campaign.

“Strengthening our social engagement and community links is a key part of the UNSW 2025 Strategy, and sport is a great way to bring people together. We are working with all our sports clubs to increase opportunities for students in both recreational and competitive sports,” said Professor Jacobs.