From the 05 – 09 October 2016, football fans hosted an international conference on homophobia in football. The EGLSF was represented by John Ryan and Sarah Townsend.
The much-discussed coming out of an active professional footballer is still pending. Fans are often seen as the main problem in this process. But other football fans, ones that stand up against homophobia and engage for an open football culture, they exist too.
Against this background, Football Fans Against Homophobia (FFAH), Queer Football Fanclubs (QFF) and Football Supporters Europe (FSE), together with the Federation of Gays and Lesbians in Berlin-Brandenburg (LSVD) are for the first time hosted “Football Pride Week“, a multi-day international football conference on homophobia in football, which took place from 05 – 09. October 2016 in Berlin. FFAH also celebrated its 5th anniversary with the event.
The were different workshops to develop strategies and options for action against homophobia in the football environment. Apart from broad, international exchange among supporters’ representatives from fan groups from more than 20 countries registered for the event, and the organisers also looked for exchanges with clubs and football associations. All clubs from the 1st Bundesliga to the 4th Division, as well as all regional football associations in Germany, were explicitly invited to join the event, also.
Key themes of Football Pride Week were how football fans could further engage against homophobia in football, and what possibilities there are for the support of clubs and football associations with regards to the work of fans against discrimination in Germany.
There was an international part on 7 and 8 October, and fans from different continents and representatives of UEFA discussed the upcoming World Cups in Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022.
Football Pride Week was opened at the National Headquarters of ver.di by Björn Fecker, board member of the German Football Association DFB, and Stefan Kiefer, Chairman of the Bundesliga Foundation. Further parts of the programme included a reception at the City Hall in Schöneberg and a Farewell Party at SchwuZ.
Football Pride Week was supported by ver.di, the Coordinating Centre of Fan Projects at the German Sports Youth (KOS), the PFiFF Funding Programme of the German Football League, the “Queering Football“ Project of the Erasmus+ Programme of the EU as well as from the Federal Centre for Equality Against Discrimination Berlin.