Support for Football V Homophobia Day

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The Justin Campaign’s Football V Homophobia Day has received support from football’s equality body Kick It Out and the FA.

The annual day, in February, is now in its second year and encourages teams at all levels to tackle homophobia.

It was set up by the Justin Campaign, which is named after Justin Fashanu, the only professional footballer in the UK to have come out as gay.

Lord Herman Ouseley, chair of Kick It Out, said his group was proud to support the event.

He said: “The initiative will provide the game, be it clubs, players, supporters or activists, with an opportunity to showcase the work they’re doing to combat homophobic abuse and intimidation, in turn increasing public awareness at the same time.”

The Football Association also sent a message of support, saying: “The FA and its stakeholders have worked hard over the years in providing football for all and ensuring that football stadia are open to everyone and are both family and LGBT friendly.

“We’ve seen real progress over the last 20 years when it comes to tackling racism and that’s something football should be proud of. We also remain committed to our long-term goal of removing discrimination, such as homophobia, out of the game.”

Darren Ollerton, Justin Campaign director, said: “It fills us with great confidence that we approach the second international day opposing homophobia in football with the endorsement and support of the FA and Kick It Out.

“The development of this unique partnership is sure to create real opportunity and equality for LGBT people in football as we work towards a future where football really is for all.”