FA: We are making progress in tackling homophobia

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The Football Association says it’s making significant progress in tackling homophobia.

Sue Ravenlaw, the organisation’s head of equality, told BBC Radio 5 Live in a special programme about homophobia in football to be broadcast tonight at 9pm: “It’s an area which we are continuing to make strides in.”

“The new inclusion and anti-discrimination plan gives us a solid framework to help tackle homophobia and other forms of unacceptable behaviour, with the inclusion and advisory board acting as a sounding board for some of the FA’s key decision makers.

“That, coupled with our own expertise in the form of a bolstered equality team, means we’re in a good place.

“The fact that the BBC has dedicated a show to the topic is an indication of its increasing importance.”

She continued: “There are some exciting things on the horizon which the FA is at the forefront of.

“A suite of new films outlining how fans and players can report discrimination, are just being finalised before release and we’re working on mandatory education from U12 through to adult for those convicted for discrimination.”

In January, ex-footballer Michael Johnson resigned as an equality advisor to the FA, after it was revealed in 2012 he had described gay people as “detestable”.

Writing for PinkNews.co.uk, LGBT rights campaigner Adrian Tippetts said it showed the FA continues to face hurdles in building trust with LGBT people.

Earlier this month the FA threw its weight behind the new Football v Homophobia campaign. It also has the support of several premier league clubs.

There are currently no known openly gay footballers in the English and Scottish professional leagues.