FA encourages all fans and players to report homophobia

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The FA has put out a statement reminding all fans and players to report homophobia as and when it happens.

Earlier this year The FA launched four films, which can be viewed on The FA.com, that show step by step how to report abuse seen or heard.

The films have been backed by The FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board (IAB), which includes Peter Clayton from Middlesex County FA and Joyce Cook from the Level Playing Field campaign who are the board’s LGBT leads, and The FA will be contacting clubs at all levels to reinforce this message in the coming weeks.

“Reporting abusive behaviour and being assured your concern will be taken seriously is an important element to tackling homophobia and changing the culture of football,” said Lou Englefield, Campaign Director for the Football v Homophobia campaign.

“Let’s promote these simple ‘how to’ guides from The FA to make sure that LGBT discrimination and abuse is dealt with and sanctioned appropriately.”

Jamie Feldman, Trustee and Player from Stonewall Football Club, who are set to join The FA as special guests at the forthcoming Euro qualifier against San Marino, concurred:

“The FA has always been extremely supportive in the battle against homophobia in football. Speaking as an openly gay football fan and grass-roots player, the Reporting Discrimination campaign is another step in the right direction, and asks fans and players alike to actively get involved in beating the battle.”

New avenues to report abuse are now available to the governing bodies and campaign groups alike.

The Kick It Out campaign announced reported incidents of all forms of discrimination, including homophobia and transphobia, have trebled during the course of last season. The organisation’s new app which allows discreet reporting at games, has been hailed as an important factor in this rise.

Increasing confidence in reporting is a key consideration for minority groups across the game. County FAs across the country collectively have seen 587 cases reported over the course of last season, which is a 163% increase.

Ed Connell, Chair of the Gay Football Supporters’ Network (GFSN), said: “We want to eliminate homophobia and transphobia from football. Every football fan should watch the FA Reporting Discrimination videos so they know exactly what to do if they witness such discrimination.”