Today the European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation
gave its backing to Football v Homophobia, the International Day Against Homophobia in Football.
The Day is being launched in the UK, by the Justin Campaign, an anti-homophobia football campaign named after the only out gay professional football player in the UK, Justin Fashanu, who tragically ended his own life in 1998.
The Justin Campaign intend Football v Homophobia, 19 February will become the one day each year where individuals, community groups, grass roots teams and professional clubs internationally can express their disapproval of homophobia in football by celebrating under the banner of Football v Homophobia.
The launch in the UK this year will also coincide with LGBT (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) History Month, a full month of activity celebrating the lives and achievements of the LGBT community www.lgbthistorymonth.org.uk.
EGLSF Co-President, Pepe Garcia Vazquez says: “We welcome the news of this campaign and look forward to the future development of this initiative. For the past six years EGLSF has been leading the European campaign to tackle homophobia in football as part of the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network. We hope that this campaign day will unite the efforts of all those working to challenge homophobia throughout Europe”
EGLSF has had great success over the past year in working closely with the Deutscher Fussball Bund to challenge homophobia in the professional game in Germany and is working on an ongoing basis with LGBT football clubs and fans networks throughout Europe to develop a strategic pan-European approach to tackling homophobia in the ‘beautiful game’.
EGLSF is planning a conference in Berlin later in 2010 to bring together anti-homophobia campaigners to consider next steps in the campaign to make football more accessible to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities of Europe.