More than 30 representatives from gay and lesbian football clubs, LGBT sports and
football organizations, supporters’ groups and football alliances from countries all
over Europe met in Berlin from 22nd to 23rd May at the 2nd Football against
homophobia conference.

The participants presented their various work and initiatives in the struggle against
homophobia and for the recognition of LGBT presence in all areas of football and set
out to plan future activities on a pan-European level. EGLSF activist Tanja Walther-
Ahrens who was responsible for the organization regards the meeting as a further
step forward: “It is especially important to get together shareholders from various
areas of football. Clubs, players, football associations, supporters’ groups and LGBT
organizations inside and outside football alike have to join forces against

The discussions and reports at the Berlin meeting raised a number of issues like the
importance of ensuring cooperation with clubs and football associations which in
many cases means to first raise awareness that the problem of homophobia exists.
“From the reports of different countries we see that there is still a marked lack of
sensitivity for the issue”, Tanja Walther-Ahrens says. “We are especially concerned
about the situation in Eastern Europe where we see anti-homosexual politics even on
a governmental level. Here we are facing huge challenges in the future which have to
be met both by football bodies and by civil society in general.”
In order to heighten the visibility of gays and lesbians in football and raise the topic of
homophobia there are a number of on-going activities organized by the groups and
initiatives in Europe – from a strengthened network both on national and international
level, football tournaments past and planned and educational measures to stadium
actions against homophobia.

A new section on the EGLSF website on the topic of football & homophobia and with
information on the different groups active all across Europe is to be launched later
this year.

The 2nd conference “Football against homophobia” was held at the Olympiastadion in
Berlin, home of Hertha BSC. It is part of the program “Football for equality.
Challenging racism and homophobia across Europe”, supported by the European
Commission (DG Justice) under the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme
and carried out by the EGLSF, the FARE network and various other partners.