The Brighton & Hove Albion Supporters’ Club (BHASC) and the Gay Football Supporters’ Network (GFSN) have sent a report to the Football Association, the Football League and the Football Supporters’ Federation highlighting the levels of homophobic abuse aimed at Brighton supporters this season to date.
The Report highlights that Brighton fans have been subjected to homophobic abuse:
• by at least 72% of opponents they have faced this season;
• in at least 70% of away games; and
• in at least 57% of all their matches so far this season.
The aim of the Report, coming just over a year after the issue was raised in the Summit on Homophobia and Racism in Football held at No.10 Downing Street shows that the issue remains widespread.
To read a copy of the report, CLICK HERE:
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Chris Basiurski, chair of the GFSN, said:
“This report clearly shows the shocking extent of the abuse to which Brighton supporters are subjected on a regular basis. It is not acceptable and we call on the football authorities to do more to eradicate homophobia from the terraces.”
Sarah Watts, Brighton & Hove Albion Supporters’ Club Secretary, commented:
“Brighton fans have been the subject of “banter” about the city’s gay community for as long as many of our fans can remember. We hope that this report will increase public awareness and help educate our fellow members of the football family of the issues faced, to address them and, ultimately the need to treat each other with basic respect.”
Both local Conservative MPs have condemned the abuse.
Mike Weatherley, MP for Hove & Portslade, said:
“I am shocked that in 2013 homophobia is still rife at football matches across the country, but particularly against the fans and players of Brighton & Hove Albion. I don’t see any reason why all professional football clubs cannot sign up to the Football V Homophobia campaign and seriously address this offensive behaviour. Homophobic comments of any kind are totally unacceptable and have no place in sport or civilised society.”
Simon Kirby, MP for Kemptown & Pracehaven, added:
“I welcome the work carried out by the BHA Supporters Club and the GFSN in highlighting the problem of homophobia in football. As their report shows homophobic incidents occur with startling frequency at Albion matches, and this behaviour must be condemned in the strongest terms.
“As a Brighton fan I am troubled by the impact homophobia has on our club and supporters, but I also recognise that this is a problem which exists on a wider scale in our national sport. We have seen how successful efforts to tackle racism in football have been over a number of years, and I believe that a similar concerted effort is required to combat homophobia. We have to send out a clear message that there is no room for prejudice or bigotry of any kind in football.
“Tackling homophobia in football can have a positive knock on effect in society, especially amongst young people, and I will be doing what I can to draw attention to this issue in Parliament and with football’s governing bodies.”
For more information about the Homphobia V Football Campaign, CLICK HERE: