Come on Irish FA – let’s kick out homophobia too

It’s LGBT History Month and the Justin Campaign is running its Football v Homophobia day on 19 February 2011 following on from the success of last year’s event.

Football v Homophobia, the brainchild of The Justin Campaign, is an international initiative which aims to unite communities and teams worldwide in their opposition of homophobia in football. With the newly agreed endorsement and support of The FA, The Justin Campaign is coordinating the second observance of the initiative in February.

The Justin Campaign is named after Justin Fashanu, the first openly gay footballer, who committed suicide in 1998. Had Justin Fashanu lived he would have been 50 years old on 19 February this year.

The [English] FA’s General Secretary Alex Horne supported the event saying:

The FA and its stakeholders have worked hard over the years in providing football for all and ensuring that football stadia are open to everyone and are both family and LGBT friendly.

We’ve seen real progress over the last 20 years when it comes to tackling racism and that’s something football should be proud of. We also remain committed to our long-term goal of removing discrimination, such as homophobia, out of the game.

Irish FA Shirt badge/Association crest
Image via Wikipedia

Okay, so I don’t often go to watch football matches, but I have been on occasion – and I quite like the atmosphere. I know that the Irish Football Association has been doing a lot of work on challenging sectarianism here in Northern Ireland but my question is – will there be recognition of the problem of homophobia within football as well.

All fans of football have the right to be able to support their team without hearing homophobic abuse shouted at players or fans before, during, or after the match.

I hope that the Irish FA will be able to support this campaign and finally we will be able to kick out homophobia from football here as well as in England.

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