England Women's squad supporting Football v Homophobia
Hope Powell and her England Women’s squad showed their backing for the Football v Homophobia campaign earlier this month.
Ahead of their game with Canada in Rotherham last week, Women’s national coach Powell and her players wore Football v Homophobia t-shirts during a windswept training session at St. George’s Park.
And the hard work on the training ground paid off, as England were eventual 1-0 victors against the Canadians courtesy of a last minute winner from Ellen White.
Speaking about the campaign, Powell said: “As the National Coach for the England Women’s team, it’s important that at the highest level of our playing structures, we are visibly seen to be getting behind Football v Homophobia.
“On behalf of the squad, I’d like to lead the charge in getting the Senior players on board this agenda. Football is for everyone.”
Funke Awoderu, The FA’s equality manager, also spoke to the players ahead of the training session to highlight the importance of the campaign to help tackle homophobia: discrimination based on sexual orientation, and transphobia: discrimination based on gender identity.
For The FA itself, it’s a particularly timely campaign with 2013 being the 150th anniversary and one of its stated aims during the year is to focus on increasing participation in the game at every level.
Reaching out to the LGB&T community is a key component in this work – and one which will be ongoing beyond 2013.
Lou Englefield, campaign director of Football v Homophobia, was pleased to see such support from the England Women’s team, adding: “We have been so impressed with support for the campaign from the girls’ and women’s game this season.
“Clubs have held matches and events ‘v homophobia’ from Somerset, London, Kent and Yorkshire.
“Having the support of the Lionesses is the icing on the cake. Our top players are being great role models for equality and showing that football can include anyone.
“Their positive support will endorse the efforts that have been made by grassroots clubs and players so far and will hopefully inspire others to get involved.”
The FA has sent out educational resources around the Football v Homophobia campaign to all 92 Premier and Football League clubs, 1,600 clubs playing in the non-League pyramid and 50 County Football Associations.
If you wish to get your club, league or County FA involved, or would like to see which clubs have signed up to take action so far, please click here.