The Trades Union Congress (TUC) in the United Kingdom announced a new alliance of unions and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) campaigners to tackle the prejudice faced by LGBT people in football. The TUC is UK’s national centre for trade unions and is the voice of Britain at work. The organisation aims to raise the quality of working life and promote equality for all.

Representatives of the Professional Footballers Association, Pride Sports, Kick it Out!, Schools Out!, the LGBT Sports Network and the Brighton-based Justin Campaign came together with members of the TUC LGBT committee to form a new alliance at the TUC headquarters in London yesterday afternoon.

The organisations have agreed to coordinate their efforts to take action against homophobia at all levels of the game. Specific suggestions for how to tackle prejudice will be conveyed to the Football Association, to build on their commitment to deal with the problem. Unions will encourage their members to join in this action.

Millions of people are involved in playing or watching football, from the playground to premier league clubs, but no one dares to be “out” at senior level in the game for fear of the abuse they will endure, says the TUC.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “At a time when popular attitudes to LGBT people have improved greatly, football grounds remain bastions of homophobic prejudice. Over a long period, campaigns like Kick it Out! have succeeded in making racism unacceptable in football. The TUC believes that something similar is needed to challenge homophobia and we have begun this task today with the launch of a new alliance.”