The Football v Homophobia campaign and LGBT+ supporters group alliance, Pride in Football, have published the results of their End of Season survey for the 2017/18 season. The survey explores the experience of LGBT+ football fans throughout the season.
170 LGBT+ football fans took part in the survey; all of whom had attended live matches during the 2017/18 season. The survey found that 63% of respondents experienced incidents of physical and verbal abuse, homophobic/transphobic chanting and/or comments from other fans.
Furthermore, the survey discovered that LGBT+ fans experienced some reticence in reporting such incidents. 65% of fans at home games and 72% of fans at away games had not reported homophobic and transphobic chanting.
Lou Englefield, Campaign Director of Football v Homophobia addresses these findings:
“LGBT+ football fans pay the same amount to support their team as everyone else and yet too many of them are experiencing or witnessing abuse on a matchday. There is still work to be done to educate fans on the impact of their language. We need support for this work”
The report calls for:
- Greater investment in anti-homophobia/transphobia campaigns targeting all fans
- Robust action to be taken by football authorities and clubs in consultation with campaign groups and fans to ensure reporting systems are fit for purpose.
- National publishing of outcome data in relation to reports of homophobia and transphobia at games.
The End of Season Survey also highlights the positive impact of LGBT+ fan groups in growing confidence of some LGBT+ fans to attend live matches, with 51% saying that being part of an LGBT+ fan group grew their confidence to attend home games and 44% saying it improved their confidence to attend matches away from home.
Chris Paouros, Co-Chair of Pride in Football, the alliance of LGBT fan groups, says of these findings:
“We can’t underestimate the power of LGBT+ fan groups. Football is about belonging and for too long LGBT+ fans haven’t felt part of the football family. Even if you’re not part of your Club’s fan group, knowing it’s there and that your Club actively welcomes you makes a huge difference”
The report calls for clubs, leagues and football authorities to initiate or increase their support for Pride in Football and the establishment of LGBT+ fan groups, which provide many fans with the confidence to attend games.
The report comes a week after research from the LGBT charity Stonewall highlights a lack of confidence more generally in the UK to challenge anti-LGBT language at live sporting events. With only 25% of those surveyed feeling able to intervene.
Meanwhile, Kick It Out’s reporting figures for last season, also released last week show a 9% increase in reports of homophobia from the previous year.
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