The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has unveiled a new alliance to help stamp out homophobia in football.
The Professional Footballers Association, Pride Sports, Kick it Out, Schools Out, the LGBT Sports Network and the Brighton-based Justin Campaign met with LGBT TUC representatives yesterday.
According to a statement from the TUC, the coalition will work to combat homophobia at all levels of the game, including local, national and school clubs.
The coalition plans to make suggestions to the Football Association on how to tackle the issue.
There are no out gay footballers on a national level. The only one to come out, Justin Fashanu, subsequently committed suicide.
PR guru Max Clifford revealed to PinkNews.co.uk earlier this year that he represents a major footballer who is bisexual. However, he said he has advised the player to keep this secret as it will end his game.
A recent report from Stonewall, called ‘Leagues Behind’, found that homophobia was still widespread in the sport, despite advances in tackling issues such as racism.
The 2,000 straight and gay fans questioned felt that abusive chants from fans were one of the biggest issues, while one in four thought the sport was anti-gay.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “At a time when popular attitudes to LGBT people have improved greatly, football grounds remain bastions of homophobic prejudice.
“Over a long period, campaigns like Kick it Out have succeeded in making racism unacceptable in football. The TUC believes that something similar is needed to challenge homophobia and we have begun this task today with the launch of a new alliance.”