Gloucestershire FA Supports Football v Homophobia
February is the international campaign month of 'Football v Homophobia' (FvH) and we at the GFA are supporting this great initiative.
FvH is a campaign uniting football in opposing homophobia and prejudice against lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in football.
Year round, FvH enables people to take action against prejudice and discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression in football, and to celebrate and welcome diversity in the game. This culminates in an international show of support in February to raise awareness of the issue and to join together in making a visible stand against prejudice and for inclusion.
Gloucestershire FA is pleased to be supporting the campaign this season as part of the FvH grassroots initiative.
Roger Vaughan (Inclusion Advisory Lead at the GFA) said: 'Following the excellent Rainbow Laces initiative, this is another great opportunity for teams in the County to show how inclusive football is. A key part of the work the Inclusion Advisory Group at the GFA do is to ensure everyone enjoys the beautiful game and to challenge discrimination in whatever form it takes.'
Alexis Lunn-Gadd (Women's and Girls' FDO) Said: 'Football is for everyone. That is the key message we are trying to promote through supporting this campaign. Male and female players should be able to participate without fear, prejudice or discrimination of any form and so raising awareness of how to challenge abusive and homophobic behaviour is a key part of this work.'
In the past few months, polls have shown that whilst football fans would be more accepting than ever of a gay player in their team, as many as 72% of football fans have heard homophobic abuse at football matches.
A recent study on homophobia in sport (Out On The Fields) found that 77% of respondents had witnessed or experienced homophobia in sport in the UK.
Using anti-LGBT language towards someone because you don't like the way they play football, manage a team, or make a refereeing decision is wrong. It's against the Laws of the Game and can be a criminal offence, but most importantly, it can make a football an intimidating and unpleasant place for fellow players, managers, match officials, and spectators.
Attitudes in Football are changing, but we all need to make sure that the language we use and the way we behave reflects this change. At Gloucestershire FA we believe we can make a real difference to the culture of football, and we'd like your support. We know that change starts with education and The GFA recognises it has a role to play in leading the way on raising awareness of homophobia and LGBT discrimination within the club and its community. Gloucestershire FA believes in a game where LGBT people can be seen and heard and valued for their contribution to football. Gloucestershire FA will work to create a safe and inclusive football environment where people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions are welcome.
Gloucestershire FA will be designating the following games in support of the Football v Homophobia campaign this February/ March:
o GFA Women’s Cup Match between Cheltenham Town Ladies Development v Almondsbury Women (17th Feb)
o Girls Development Centre fixture v Herefordshire PDC (18th Feb)
o GFA North Men’s Saturday Cup Semi-Finals (2nd March) – Game TBC
o Women’s Football 9’s League (3rd March)
This is an opportunity for players, spectators and all involved in the game to get behind the campaign and show everyone that in Gloucestershire's grassroots game there is no place for hate or bigotry.
Find out more about the Football v Homophobia campaign and action you can personally take in February, here: www.footballvhomophobia.com