Kick It Out attend launch of CACT Invicta FC
By Charlie MacKinnon
Kick It Out attended the formal launch of CACT Invicta FC (CIFC) on Thursday 24 August, as Charlton Athletic FC became the first professional football club in England to establish a dedicated LGBT friendly football team at The Valley.
On an important day in English football, a number of Kick It Out staff including Paul Mortimer, Jehmeil Lemonius and Anwar Uddin were in attendance to support the official link between the south London club and Bexley Invicta – who have now taken the club name with the partnership.
Speaking at the launch, Katrien Meire, CEO of Charlton Athletic, said: “We are proud to be involved in this important launch that promotes positive change and inclusion.
“Sadly homophobia is still a problem in football, and one we as a club, take very seriously and are proactive on. Hopefully others can take inspiration from CACT Invicta to further promote positive change in the sport”.
Manager Karl Robinson, assistant manager Lee Bowyer and club captain Johnnie Jackson were also at the event to support the formation of the club, with Jackson hopeful that it is a step in the right direction for ending discrimination in football.
“Everything that the club does through their community schemes and in the local area I’m happy to support.
“We want as much support as we can. We don’t discriminate here at Charlton Athletic, no matter who you are you are, we want you to be involved. We just want people playing football.”
The launch was a proud moment for Charlton Invicta FC Player-Manager Gary Ginnaw, who described the day as a ‘monumental step’ for football.
“There should be no prejudice for the game we know and love. Today is a landmark event which will go a long way in ensuring discrimination due to sexual orientation or preference is eradicated from the game.”