Justin Campaign announce date for annual awareness day
The Justin Campaign is to launch an international day opposing homophobia in football on February 19.
The day’s intention is to raise awareness of homophobia in the world’s favourite sport and to encourage national clubs to show their support for the cause by adopting the initiative’s logo for the day and to include messages that support the cause and condemn the use of homophobic language and abuse in match day programmes.
This initiative comes weeks after the Justin Campaign joined a coalition with the TUC, the PFA, Kick It Out, PrideSports and Schoolsout to launch a wider campaign tackling homophobia in sport.
The day is backed by the European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation (EGLSF). Co-President, Pepe Garcia Vazquez, commented:
“We welcome the news of this campaign and look forward to the future development of this initiative. For the past six years EGLSF has been leading the European campaign to tackle homophobia in football as part of the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network. We hope that this campaign day will unite the efforts of all those working to challenge homophobia throughout Europe.”
Community football teams throughout the UK and Europe will be showing their support for the cause by holding a series of football matches and fun events throughout the day under the banner of Football v Homophobia.
The Justin Campaign, as well as staging an opening ceremony in Brighton, shall be sending their campaigning football team to play in a match in Norwich, where Fashanu began his footballing career.
Darren Ollerton, campaign director, said “We wanted the launch of Football vs Homophobia to compliment LGBT history month somehow.
“Every year on Feb 19 the campaign will celebrate the day by following Justin Fashanu’s career throughout the years and engaging with each team and their community along the way.
“Let’s hope when the campaign reaches the end of the timeline we will have witnessed some much needed change in the way gay/bi men in professional and amateur football are perceived and treated.”
Founding director of The Justin Campaign Jason Bartholomew Hall said: “We think it’s important to have one day out of each year when clubs and supporters are able to unite in opposing hate and intolerance in their national sport.
“However people celebrate Football v Homophobia day – let it be out of respect for each other and of equality”