FA committed to anti-homophobia DVD but no word on Beckham

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The Football Association has confirmed it is collaborating on a new DVD aimed at tackling homophobia in the game.

Human rights activist Peter Tatchell announced last week that after meetings with the FA, the Professional Footballers Association and the Kick It Out group, which tackles racism in the game, a special DVD would be created.

Mr Tatchell, who is a parliamentary candidate for the Green party, said:

“The plan is to feature big-name stars speaking out against homophobia, in order to make anti-gay chants look as stupid, ignorant and uncool as racist ones.

“Our wish list of participating football stars includes David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rio Ferdinand, Peter Crouch, David James, Wayne Rooney, John Terry, Frank Lampard, Theo Walcott and Michael Owen.

“We’re pressing the FA to get this video broadcast on TV and at matches on the giant stadium screens. We also want the FA to put it on YouTube and distribute copies to every school in the country.”

An FA spokesman said that no players have been approached to appear in the DVD and there is still discussion about funding.

He reiterated the FA’s backing for the initiative and said it should go into production “in the next few months.”

Mr Tatchell said:

“We expect the video to have a global impact and reach football fans all over the world; helping break down prejudice and thereby make the game a more welcoming and safe sport for gay players and spectators – not just in Britain but internationally.

“Although it is only a minority of homophobic fans who are creating problems, they are quite sizeable and vociferous. Many gay spectators currently feel threatened and excluded. It is also a turn off for straight families to be surrounded by aggressive, homophobic hooligans.”

Homophobic abuse at football matches hit the headlines late last year.

Portsmouth FC’s Sol Campbell, a former England defender, was subject to abusive taunts from the crowd during a Premiership game against Tottenham Hotspur at Fratton Park, Portsmouth FC’s ground, on September 28th.

Several people have been questioned on suspicion of indecent or racial chanting at a designated football match.

Tottenham fans reportedly dislike Mr Campbell due to his transfer from Tottenham to rival team Arsenal in 2001.

Homophobic abuse is against the rules at every Premier League and Football League club.

The Football Association’s decision to amend the ground regulations was approved in 2007 after consultation with the leagues.