The Football v Homophobia campaign has sent a toolkit to clubs guiding them in how to combat homophobia and reach out to LGBT fans and players, in a move backed by the England manager and West Ham team.
The toolkit gives background on homophobia and transphobia in football, citing that 24% of gay men avoided football because of perceived homophobia, and 75% of trans people felt the sport was transphobic.
It urges clubs to challenge homophobic and transphobic language, and to reach out to local LGBT teams.
England manager Roy Hodgson said: ”I’d never want to see someone excluded from playing or watching the game because they’re fearful of what might be said to them and that’s why it’s important that we’re all supportive of Football v Homophobia.”
West Ham showed their support for the campaign as a team, donning Football v Homophobia t-shirts during the warm-up for their match against Reading on Saturday.
Kevin Nolan, the West Ham captain, said: “It’s important that we, as a club and as a squad, support the Football v Homophobia campaign. We’re role models and we’ve got to ensure that we respect all members of society and show that we’re open minded.
“If someone told me, or any of the lads, that they were gay, it wouldn’t change our view of them one iota and that’s the only way it can be, so it’s a vital message to push.”
The campaign is held annually during February with support from both the English FA and UEFA.