FA launches new anti-homophobia initiative

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The FA yesterday launched a brand new five-year action plan to tackle homophobia in football. FA bosses have pledged full support to Opening Doors and Joining In and said they want to raise awareness and promote inclusivity within the game.

FA chairman David Bernstein said that “as the nation’s favourite game it is essential that football is open to all, irrelevant of race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality or any other factor”.

As well as the FA Opening Doors and Joining In has the support of the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), the League Managers’ Association, the Premier League, Kick It Out, and the Football League. The FA also said it would work in partnership with prominent campaigning groups such as the Justin Campaign, the Gay Football Supporters' Network, Stonewall, and Pride Sports.

The FA said it will identify boundaries within football that prevent Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) people from engaging with the sport and combat all forms of homophobic, biophobic and transphobic language and behaviour – whether by spectators, players, coaches, or other participants.

FA chairman David Bernstein said: “As the nation’s favourite game it is essential that football is open to all, irrelevant of race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, or any other factor. It is this essential commitment that underpins the FA’s equality objectives. This plan highlights not only the FA’s belief that football must be accessible to all, but that any form of homophobia or transphobia will not be accepted within our game.”

Kick It Out’s Earl Barrett said: “I think if we can educate people about the LGBT presence in, and appetite for, football, then we’ll be taking a step in the right direction.”

Prior to the launch of Opening Doors and Joining In, which took place at Wembley, the FA released a new film discussing homophobia in football featuring Brendon Batson of the PFA, former England international John Scales, and former Wales international Ady Williams. You can watch that below.

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