GLAAD: FIFA needs to ensure gay fans feel safe at the World Cup

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

GLAAD has called on FIFA to make sure homophobic and transphobic slurs are stamped out at the World Cup.

The rights group this week launched its #StopTheSlurs campaign, which urges football bodies to take a zero-tolerance approach to anti-gay slurs.

In an open letter, GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis called on FIFA boss Sepp Blatter directly to pledge to make changes.

She wrote: “Myself and many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocates around the world are deeply concerned that LGBT fans are often put in danger by the homophobic attitudes present at many matches. We think this is particularly important as World Cup commences.

“While Article 3 of your statutes includes sexual orientation in its list of groups protected from discrimination, we believe more action is necessary to ensure LGBT fans feel safe during World Cup.

“Unfortunately anti-gay insults are commonly heard during games in many parts of the world. Other activities like the sale of t-shirts in Brazil with slogans like “Maradona Maricón” and “C. Ronaldo Is Gay” are also very worrisome.

“As you can imagine, hearing this type of anti-LGBT language makes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and our families and friends not only feel insulted but unsafe.

“As the world converges on Brazil, we want to ensure World Cup is a safe and celebratory event for everyone.”

Calling for action, she urged Blatter to pledge that “anyone expressing anti-gay epithets either verbally or on their clothing will be barred from entering/ejected from a sports venue”.

The group has also launched its own LGBT-focussed World Cup page for the campaign.

Watch GLAAD’s #StopTheSlurs video below: