This weekend sees top of the table excitement not only for Premier League teams Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, who go head to head at the Etihad on Sunday, but also for the Football v Homophobia campaign, to which Sunday’s game is designated.
Football v Homophobia is an international campaign challenging discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in football. Established in 2010, the campaign has the backing of the football authorities, and every season hosts an action month in February. The Month of Action sees football clubs, county FAs, leagues and fans take a stand against LGBT discrimination in the game.
Of Sunday’s game, campaign director Lou Englefield says:
“Having the support of big clubs like Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur during our Month of Action is fantastic. It helps us reach a global community of football supporters with our campaign message that football is for everyone”
At the game, both teams of players will be wearing Football v Homophobia t-shirts, whilst Manchester City’s LGBT supporters club, Canal Street Blues are taking part in some pre-match entertainment at City Square. At half time, canal Street Blues will be on the pitch battling it out in a penalty shoot-out against Spurs LGBT fans group, Proud Lilywhites.
It’s not just LGBT fans who are backing the campaign though, Manchester City Supporters Club have made a ‘City v Homophobia’ film to show at half time, which includes clips of fans from branches from around the world.
Kevin Parker, General Secretary of the Supporters Club explains:
“We want everyone to feel welcome at our great club and that includes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender supporters. At the end of the day, we are all Cityzens”
Also involved in the action are the 1894 Group whose campaign ‘All You Need Is Love’ will highlight the message that all City fans are equal in loving the club, and that diversity should be celebrated. Sunday is, of course, Valentine’s Day.
Other clubs hosting designated to the campaign this weekend include; Aston Villa, Brighton & Hove Albion, Newport County, Norwich City, Portsmouth, QPR, Sunderland, Wrexham AFC and York City.