The Football v Homophobia (FvH) campaign in partnership with FARE, European football’s anti-discrimination network, has launched a small grants programme for 2014. The programme, which will offer twelve grants of €300 is open to fans groups, grass roots Football clubs and community organisations to support them in acknowledging FvH during February 2014.
As Lou Englefield, Campaign Director explains:
“During 2013 a growing number of professional clubs became involved in the campaign, and with the support of FARE we also engaged fans groups, grass roots players and community activists around the world through our Small Grants programme.”
Football v Homophobia provides a focused time throughout February every year during which all those involved in football can take action on discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. 2013 saw an increase in the number of professional football clubs in the UK taking part in the campaign including several English Premiership football clubs.
“We are asking European football clubs to give their support to FvH, these small grants can give fans groups a unique opportunity to make their message of inclusion visible in stadia” says Megan Worthing-Davies, Campaign Co-ordinator.
Piara Powar of the Fare network said, “LGBT equality is an issue for all of us, whether we are involved in football or not. Abuse and exclusion is an issue that we can all unite to work together to tackle as the many fan groups working on anti-homophobia issues already know.”
Applications open for the small grants programme today and will remain open until December 20th. Applications can be made using a simple online form www.footballvhomophobia.com/small-grants-programmeNews | Comments Off September 19, 2013
In response to requests from the press and from football clubs for our opinion on Stonewall and Paddy Power’s current ‘Rainbow Laces’ campaign, Football v Homophobia would like to offer the following comment.
Football v Homophobia was invited by Paddy Power to be a part of the campaign in its early stages. Whilst supporting the overall aims of the initiative, we did not feel comfortable with some aspects of the language and tone, and so felt that we did not wish to take our involvement any further. However, we welcome the opportunity for further discussion and debate around some of the issues of language raised by the campaign.
Football v Homophobia works to address homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia in football, in conjunction with all stakeholders in the game – the players, the fans, and the organizing bodies. We welcome any attempt to tackle homophobia in football around the world, and any attempt to take this message beyond the LGBT community. We therefore applaud the sentiments behind the laces idea central to the ‘Rainbow Laces’ campaign, namely solidarity with gay players.
Our discomfort is with the reliance on sexualised innuendo and stereotypes about gay men and anal sex, as exemplified by the tag line ‘Right Behind Gay Players’. As an initiative with a strong focus on education, we feel it is incongruous to run a campaign aiming to change football culture whilst using language which reinforces the very stereotypes and caricatures that, in the long term, ensure that homophobia persists. There is a long history, perhaps best captured by the infamous Robbie Fowler incident, whereby anal sex has been the focus of homophobic abuse in the sport.
A number of organisations, like ours, have been campaigning for years for a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to discrimination, and we are disappointed to see that the wording of this tag line gives license for a blurring of the already difficult territory between implicitly and explicitly homophobic and transphobic language, and football ‘banter’. For example, the following comments have been posted on Paddy Power’s own Facebook page, under the “Right Behind Gay Footballers” banner:
The final comment, referring to Brighton, is of particular interest. It was only four months ago, in the wake of a report that showed overwhelming (72% of matches) homophobic abuse, that the Brighton & Hove Albion Supporters’ Club (BHASC) called on the football authorities for help to tackle abuse aimed at fans, often couched as ‘banter’.
Whilst Paddy Power are not responsible for the general level of homophobia and transphobia we witness in football, and indeed are trying to counter this with ‘Rainbow Laces’, aspects of the campaign have acted as a catalyst for the kind of attitudes and language that BHASC and Football v Homophobia have been working hard to challenge. ‘Rainbow Laces’ may have an important short-term advantage of drawing attention to the issue of homophobia in football, but this needs to be followed in the long-term with an informed and sensitive discussion around the contested nature of what constitutes discriminatory, offensive language as opposed to acceptable banter.
We would therefore invite people to applaud the positive aspects of ‘ Rainbow Laces’ and at the same time reflect on the language used, in particular how appropriate the tag line “Right Behind Gay Players’ is as a means to tackle homophobia in football.
The Football v Homophobia campaign runs throughout the year. If you would like to join us in tackling homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in football, there are three simple things you can do:
More league and non-league football teams than ever are joining forces to kick homophobia out of the beautiful game. Keph Senett takes a look at the work of the Football v Homophobia initiative and some of the teams trying to make a difference…News | Comments Off
Warsaw-based football club Chrząszczyki are holding the seventh edition of their international Kobiety Kobietom (Woman to Woman) tournament on September 8th in co-operation with Football v Homophobia.
For Suzi Andreis, tournament organiser and member of Chrząszczyki, the tournament “…is an event aimed to build an alternative to Polish mainstream football, creating an open environment free from sexism, racism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination.”
In addition to Kobiety Kobietom, a portal website for the Polish lesbian community, the tournament is also organised in co-operation with Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE), the Polish anti-discrimination organisation Never Again, and the European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation (EGLSF).
Scott Lawley of Football v Homophobia said, “I met Suzi in Warsaw earlier in the year and we talked about Chrząszczyki and the Kobiety Kobietom tournament. Both of these are important and pioneering initiatives for LGBT sports in Poland which Football v Homophobia are proud to support.”
Women’s teams of between 5 and 10 players are able to enter, and some hosted accommodation is available. Further information is available at:
An application form can be downloaded from http://chrzaszczyki.com.pl/doc/7turniejKK_zgloszenie.doc
The first ever international fans conference on homophobia will this weekend call on football bodies, government authorities and clubs to do more to tackle prejudice and exclusion in the sport across Europe.
Organisers hope that the Football Fans v Homophobia conference, taking place in Manchester on Saturday (17th August), will identify new ways of tackling homophobia in football, celebrate the involvement of gay and lesbian fans, and reinforce a zero tolerance message against discrimination.
Supporters from 29 European countries, including Russia, Germany, France, Norway, Poland and Portugal will hear speakers including Patrick Gasser, head of social responsibility at European football governing body UEFA, Dirk Middeldorf of the Queer Football Fans network in Germany, and Paul Amann of Liverpool FC LGBT Supporters club.
Amongst the sessions taking place will be the launch of a new mobile phone game as a tool to educate young people against homophobia in sport, and the experience of the transgender community in football.
Also under scrutiny will be the hosting of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in 2014 and the FIFA World Cup in 2018 across Russia. Both events pose challenges in light of new Russian laws prohibiting the ability of the LGBT community to take part in public life.
The conference is being organised by the international anti- discrimination network, Fare, and the UK- based Football v Homophobia (FvH) campaign.
Lou Englefield from FvH said, “The LGBT community has a large contingent of football supporters whose concerns on homophobia are often ignored. As the first major gathering of supporters on this issue, both LGBT and allies, this is a huge event for the LGBT community in football.
“It is fitting that it takes place on the day the most high profile league in world football kicks-off its season.”
Piara Powar, Executive Director of the Fare network, commented, “Europe is becoming both more tolerant and intolerant at the same time, it is important that fans across Europe have the opportunity to show their support. We will focus on campaigning solutions and highlight successful initiatives to tackle exclusion in football.”
Notes to editors:
The conference takes place at 10am at the Friends Meeting House in Mount Street, Manchester
A full speaker programme can be sent by email.
The conference is open to members of the media, please send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org
Organisers and participants are available for interview
Further details on farenet.org
The Football v Homophobia Campaign announced today that it will be joined by FARE, Europe’s anti-discrimination campaign for football, to deliver a football conference for fans on tackling homophobia and transphobia in football. The conference is being held in Manchester, UK on 17 August 2013. Campaign Director, Louise Englefield explains:
“We are delighted to be joined by FARE on this project. Their support will make the conference a truly international event. We will be welcoming fans and activists from throughout Europe to Manchester in August. Fans are often blamed for homophobia in football and for the lack of openly gay players in the professional game. We want to look at that, highlight some of the issues for fans themselves, showcase some of the great work of fans’ groups challenging discrimination and to let fans’ voices be heard in the debate”
Delegates will be able to participate in a range of plenary discussions and workshops throughout the day covering issues such as ‘Education or Regulation – Affecting Culture Change in Football’, ‘Transphobia & the Experience of Transgender Fans’ and ‘The Role of LGBT Fans Groups’. Speakers will include representatives from fans groups throughout Europe, players, administrators and campaigners.
The conference is taking place in August as part of the Manchester Pride festival. Manchester Pride is one of the longest running LGBT Pride events in the UK, attracting thousands of visitors to the City every August.
Bursaries for the conference will be available for delegates from organisations from outside the UK, who are encouraged to apply to the scheme by 15 July. Registration for the conference and applications for bursaries can be found at http://fansconference.eventbrite.co.ukPosted in News | Comments Off June 2, 2013
One of the highlights of the 125th Anniversary year of the British Army Football Association occurred on Saturday 18th May 2013 when the Army Team played and a team of FA Legends, at the Madejski stadium. Proceeds from the match were donated to two Service charities that promote sporting opportunities soldiers, including enabling our wounded play sport as part of their rehabilitation; The Royal British Legion and the Team Army Sports Foundation. It was also felt to be a great opportunity to show support for the FA endorsed ‘Football v Homophobia’ campaign. The Army made a bright start against their more seasoned counterparts and they took the lead in just the fourth minute, however the Legends battled back to a 4 – 2 win.
The England manager, Roy Hodgson, managed the squad of selected FA Legends team whilst Stuart Pearce, England Under-21 Manager, took charge of the Army team for the day.
The Army Team donned FvH t-shirts for the warm up in the stadium and intends to do so at future high profile matches. Seeing the Army Team so visibly in support of inclusivity on one of their most important games of the year was especially powerful message for the expectant crowd. The Army’s Head Coach, Captain Joe Collins even wore the shirt for the post match presentations.
The Army LGBT Forum’s Sports Representative mingled with the team pre-match and watched the match from the media suite. He was impressed by the the support shown by spectating senior officers, Army FA officials and the Army players for the initiative, organised by the Army FA Secretary with the support of Lieutenant General James Everard CBE, Patron of the Army LGBT Forum and Major General Bruce Brealey CB, Chairman of the Army FA, two of the Army’s most senior commanders.
The British Army is united by it’s soldiers’ commitment to the core Values: Selfless Commitment, Courage, Discipline, Integrity, Loyalty and Respect for Others. It is the belief in these values, particularly Courage and Respect for others, which ultimately led to all of the Armed Services developing strong policies on equality and becoming Stonewall Diversity Champions. This coupled with soldiers’ love of sport make supporting campaigns such as ‘Football v Homophobia’ important for both LGBT soldiers and Straight Allies alike.Posted in News | Comments Off May 13, 2013
Englandfans FC, the official football team for England fans, are very proud to announce that their next fans international fixture against the supporters of Republic of Ireland, will be played in memory of the late Justin Fashanu and will support the 2013 Football v Homophobia (FvH) campaign. In what may well be a world first, team manager, Garford Beck, will be picking his team from a squad made up of openly straight and gay players. The match will take place on Wednesday 29th May 2013 at The Orchard, home of Bedfont & Feltham Football Club with a 1.00 pm kick-off. The fans match will precede that evening’s international friendly at Wembley Stadium between the two respective countries the fans, themselves, will be representing. The winners of the fans match will be presented with ‘The Justin Fashanu Memorial Trophy’. The match represents a major step in tackling homophobia within the game. Englandfans FC, team manager, Garford Beck, came up with the twin ideas of not only playing the game in memory of Justin Fashanu but also of putting out an openly mixed straight and gay team. “I am genuinely delighted to have Englandfans FC associated with the 2013 FvH campaign and playing for ‘The Justin Fashanu Memorial Trophy’. Justin’s story, along with that of his brother, John, was, initially, one of hope and triumph over adversity. The fact that Justin’s life ended in such tragic circumstances is perhaps something, especially those of us involved in football, in whatever capacity, should ponder. And sticking to football, let’s not forget that Justin Fashanu was one hell of a player. We, at Englandfans FC, are an all-inclusive football club and abhor the idea that anybody might feel unable to take part in a game of football for fear of being targeted in some awful manner. I couldn’t honestly tell you if there are any gay footballers in my team because I’ve never asked. Why should I? I hope that this game can show that players of all backgrounds, abilities, cultures, sexual orientation, or whatever, can come together and celebrate, with us, for one day, at least, that football can be all-inclusive and a force for good. I can tell you that, when I send out my openly mixed straight and gay England team to face Republic of Ireland, it will be one of my proudest moments in football. Apparently, there are 24 recognised representative football teams for England under The FA’s auspices; I think my fans team should be added to that list to make it 25”.
Club captain, Mark Tighe, adds: “It is a great shame that, in this day and age, campaigns like FvH are still having to highlight the animosity shown towards LGBT players in football, at all levels. It is so important that we all support this wonderful campaign, right the way from grassroots level to the professional ranks. I am absolutely delighted, as club captain, that Englandfans FC will be showing their support for this campaign”.
FvH is an international initiative opposing homophobia in football at all levels, from grassroots to professional clubs. In England, it is The FA`s endorsed campaign to tackle such issues. In February this year, England manager Roy Hodgson gave his support to the campaign stating: “I`d never want to see someone excluded from playing or watching the game because they`re fearful of what might be said to them. That’s why it`s important that we`re all supportive of Football V Homophobia”.
More recently the England women`s team also showed their support for the campaign, ahead of their clash with Canada. Women`s coach Hope Powell and her players wore Football v Homophobia t-shirts during a training session at St Georges Park.
Football v Homophobia campaign director Lou Englefield is delighted to see such support from England fans for FvH, adding: “Homophobia and reaction from the crowd is often suggested as a reason that players do not come out. It’s great to see fans themselves taking the lead on this issue and lending their support to the Football v Homophobia campaign. Inviting members of LGBT (lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender) clubs to play alongside the EnglandFans FC team showcases the involvement of LGBT players throughout the game, and furthers the campaign’s goal of ‘football for all’”.
Admission, as ever, is free, there is ample, free, car-parking and the clubhouse bar will be open with quality hot and cold food available at very reasonable prices. We are producing a commemorative programme which will contain a tribute to Justin. In fact, Justin’s photo adorns the front cover. Our 20-page souvenir programme will be on sale at a cost of only £2.00.
Fan-friendly matches are all about ‘Bringing Fans Together’, making new friends and enjoying the game we all love.
Further updates of this match and other news can be viewed at www.englandfansfc.co.uk.
Directions to The Orchard are as follows:
Bedfont & Feltham Football & Social Club,
Middlesex, TW14 9QT.
From M4: Leave the M4 at J3 then at roundabout take the exit onto the A312 (Heathrow/Staines). Continue to traffic signals connecting to A30 and turn right. At traffic signals turn left into Dick Turpin Way. At traffic signals turn right onto Fagg’s Road, turn left onto Hatton Road (sign posted Bedfont FC). The ground is on the left opposite the Duke of Wellington public house.Posted in News | Comments Off April 4, 2013
Report shows that Brighton fans abused by two-thirds of away supporters.
On Tuesday 2 April, the Brighton & Hove Albion Supporters’ Club (BHASC) and the Gay Football Supporters’ Network (GFSN) will send a report to the Football Association, the Football League and the Football Supporters’ Federation into 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.
A copy of the Report, together with statements from the BHASC and the GFSN can be found by clicking this link http://gfsn.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=38d8d5e8ac4afcc7ebb76a252&id=ac5190eda1&e=ed938674d9Posted in News | Comments Off March 26, 2013
Sunday 24th February saw the Football v Homophobia fixture between a Team Derby 11 v Nottingham BallBois at the University of Derby. The fixture took place on the 3G pitch at the Kedleston Road site.
The fixture was organised by Derbyshire County FA’s Women, Girls and Inclusion Football Development Officer Angie Harper after she was approached by the Nottingham BallBois who were keen to play a Derby based team to raise awareness of the campaign.
The game was a close one with Team Derby going into the half time break with a 2-0 lead. Both sides had chances early on with Nottingham BallBois hitting the post and creating a few chances but failed to put them away. Team Derby scored 3 early goals in the second half before Nottingham BallBois hit both the post and crossbar. Team Derby then made it 6-0 before Nottingham BallBois pulled a goal back. Team Derby scored 2 excellent goals before a mix up in the Derby defence gave the BallBois a chance. The final score was 8-2 to Team Derby but football was the real winner on the day.
Mark Farthing, Athletic Union President said” We are really pleased to have the opportunity to get involved with the Football v Homophobia campaign on the pitch to reaffirm the work we have done so far off it. This year we have campaigned against homophobia in sport and at the start of the year, all 33 of our sports clubs signed up to the Sports Charter to signal our intent to stamp out homophobia and transphobia at the University”.
Team Derby have recently signed up all their Sports teams to the Sports Charter to Tackle Homophobia and Transphobia in Sport. They have also made a short video on this which can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgdZYOXf3NE
Football is keen to ensure that it is inclusive and open to all sections of the community. To get involved in football in Derbyshire as a player, referee, coach or volunteer, please telephone Derbyshire County FA on 01332 361422.Posted in News | Comments Off ← Older posts