The Socceroos will wear special shirts during their warm-up for tomorrow's AFC Asian Cup clash with Korea Republic to raise awareness of the devastating floods in Queensland. They will also wear black armbands during the match.
"It's a massive disaster," he said. "Australian people have unfortunately died and people are missing. The floods are never-ending, people are losing their houses and it is a concern of the Socceroos team. Our thoughts and wishes are with the people back home and we hope we can do them proud over here."
Queensland state capital Brisbane, Australia's third-largest city, was turned into a disaster zone today, with whole suburbs under water and infrastructure smashed as the worst flood in decades hit 30,000 properties. At least 15 people have been killed.
"Thanks to the Asian Football Confederation, who have gracefully allowed us to wear a different shirt in the warm-up, highlighting where you can donate to an appeal," added Neill. "This is not just for people in Australia, hopefully people all over the world can realise that sometimes football is not the biggest thing in the world and people's lives are more important. People losing their families and their homes ... it makes football seem second best."
At least five members of the Socceroo squad were either born or raised in Queensland. "We will be wearing black armbands for the people who have lost their lives," Neill added.
Many Australian sporting clubs and organisations have already announced initiatives to contribute to the cause. Australia's star player Tim Cahill this week set up an auction offering flights and a private experience at his English Premier League club Everton to raise money for the flood victims.