Top football clubs have announced their support for this months Football v Homophobia annual action month
Football v Homophobia is backed by the FA, Premier League, Football League and League Managers Association, as well as campaign groups FARE and Kick It Out. FvH is a campaign designed to tackle homophobia and transphobia in football. It works to raise awareness of the issues and to educate and support everyone in football to make the nations favourite sport safe and welcoming for all.
On February 9, Liverpool FC hosted a Gay Football Supporters Network fixture between Mersey Marauders and Wolverhampton Harts.
Lierpool’s Social Inclusion Officer, Rishi Jain said:
“To support the Football v Homophobia campaign again this year is really important for us and provides us with a great opportunity to further demonstrate our stance against homophobia and prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. We’re really looking forward to hosting the match this weekend at LFC Academy; it’s key for us to work alongside and in partnership with all our supporters, regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender or disability.”
Arsenal Football Club has been working with Football v Homophobia to support LGBT History Month. Through its Arsenal for Everyone initiative, the club will be undertaking a range of activities in the community, including a Football v Homophobia tournament on February 28.
Arsenal’s Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis, said:
“As a Club, we want to ensure that we encourage an inclusive atmosphere for all our fans, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity. The Club always strives to engage with its fans and we are pleased to see a new LGBT supporters group, The Gay Gooners, has recently formed. We are proud to be able to work with Football v Homophobia to help remove discrimination and prejudice, and promote the message that everyone should be able to enjoy football.”
One project has already kicked off. On January 30, Campaign Director Lou Englefield spent the afternoon training coaching staff at Crystal Palace Community Foundation. The Hearts and Minds Projects is an example of what clubs can do when they are serious about making a difference.
Donald Forde from the Foundation, explains:
“Last year I was disturbed to learn from work with our community partner, South London YMCA, about high levels of suicide amongst young LGBT people. Along with Community Programme Manager, Danielle Towner, we reflected on what we could do about the issue, and we contacted FvH to see if they could help. Together, we have developed what will be a ground breaking project through which key young people accessing our services become anti-homophobia champions and help us create an inclusive environment in which all young people can flourish”.
Last year, 24 professional clubs took action in February as part of the campaign. This year the FvH team are hoping that at least 50% of the 92 clubs in England will get on board and show that their club is part of the movement to make football safe and welcoming for all.
Supporters who want to encourage their club to get involved should contact the club liaison officer to find out what their club is doing.
Clubs should contact F v H via the website: www.footballvhomophobia.com
Or twitter: @FvHtweets