Footballers launch anti-homophobia campaign in honour of Justin Fashanu

Adam Lake April 25, 2008
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A campaign is being launched to help stamp out homophobia in British football.

Justin is a campaign against homophobia in football that aims to, “vindicate the memory of Justin Fashanu, the world’s first openly gay professional footballer.”

Justin will be launched on 4 May 2008, two days after the tenth anniversary of Justin Fashanu’s death.

It will take place at in Brighton at 5pm after the Stonewall Equality Walk.

Speakers include gay rights activist Peter Tatchell and Justin co-founder Jason Hall.

A spokesperson for the campaign said:

“The FA, in conjunction with Stonewall and the GFSN, are fighting anti-gay prejudice on the terraces, looking to stamp out the kind of chants that haunted Justin,

“But ten years after his death, which the football world refused to mark, there are still no openly gay professional players or managers.”

Just last week the former Juventus managing director Luciano Moggi caused outrage when he claimed, “there a no gays in football.”

Speaking on the KlausCondicio programme on Italian television he went on:

“I don’t know if players are against having them in their team but I definitely am.

“In the teams where I worked there were never any. I never wanted to have a homosexual player and I still wouldn’t sign one.

“I’m old school but I know the ambience of football and a gay wouldn’t be able to survive within it.

“A homosexual cannot do the job of a footballer.

“The football world is not designed for them, it’s a special atmosphere, one in which you stand naked under the showers.”

In April last year Portsmouth goalkeeper David James wrote an article in The Observer querying why gay players do not come out.

A 2006 survey found out that 57% of footballers think that football is homophobic.

The aim of the Justin Campaign is to get the FA to observe Saturday 2nd May 2009 as Justin Fashanu Day.

They will be asking Premier and Football League players to support Justin Fashanu Day by wearing black armbands and observing a minute’s silence before matches.

The campaign would also like the film Brighton Bandits, a documentary about the city’s gay football to be shown at schools and universities.

The Bandits were crowned Gay Football League Champions in 2006 and the film follows the team’s quest to keep their title.

The film highlights the problems that gay footballers, and young LGBT people in genaral, can face.

Gay and lesbian teams began to appear almost three decades ago and the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association was formed to act as a governing body for the sport.

Gay and Lesbian Football Association was formed to act as a governing body for the sport.

The tournament will be held in London later this year.

Leftfooters FC won its bid to host the championship earlier last year after IGLFA officials visited facilities at Regents Park.

Ten 11-a-side pitches and six 7-a-side pitches have been reserved for the event, which is supported by the Football Association, Westminster City Council, gay equality organisation Stonewall, the Mayor of London and Visit London.

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