A small grants scheme has been launched by Fare and the international anti-homophobia campaign Football v Homophobia (FvH) to fund projects and activities taking place during the Football v Homophobia Month of Action in February 2016.Grassroots clubs, fan groups, campaign organisations, youth groups and others are encouraged to apply for one of twenty small grants up to the value of €400 each.
The initiatives should further the campaign’s goals of making football safe, welcoming and inclusive for LGBT people, creating opportunities for LGBT people in football, improve the representation of the LGBT community across the game and celebrate diversity in football.
FvH Director Lou Englefield said: “Every year in the UK we work with professional clubs to take action on discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in football and that helps us communicate our message of inclusion around the world.
“We know that its not just clubs that have a stake in making football welcoming for everyone though, and fans, campaigners and educators internationally are also helping to make a difference.”
February is LGBT History Month in the UK and Ireland and has become the International Month of Action against Homophobia and Transphobia in Football. In its fifth year the small grants scheme is addressing groups and clubs across Europe to join the campaign and take a stand against homophobia in football.
Claudia Krobitzsch, Fare Programmes Co-ordinator, said: “We are supporting the Football v Homophobia Small Grants programme to further our ongoing work with the LGBT football community across Europe.
“Working with FvH enables Fare to reach out to new and diverse communities across the continent and ultimately to increase our impact in making football a more inclusive sport.”
In 2015, thousands of people in England, Spain, Belgium, France and Poland joined forces and carried out initiatives at grassroots and professional level against discrimination based on sexuality and gender identity. Among the campaign’s supporters was the former Premier League and Germany international footballer Thomas Hitzlsperger, who has been actively campaigning for the rights of LGBT people in football since he came out in January 2014.
Organisations wishing to apply for a small grant can do it until 31 December 2015 at www.footballvhomophobia.com.
Successful applicants will be informed by 4 January 2016.