February will once again mark the annual Football v Homophobia Month of Action. This year will mark the 15th anniversary of the nationwide campaign.
Football v Homophobia (FvH) exists to challenge discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression at all levels in football.
As an international initiative, FvH engages in campaigning, education, advice & guidance, and more, to create safe, welcoming and inclusive environments for LGBTIQ+ people in football and opportunities to promote engagement of LGBTQ+ people in football at all levels and in all forms.
The campaign also realises the potential of football in society as a tool to create positive change.
Why it is important to get involved in the Football v Homophobia Month of Action?
- Lesbian, gay and bisexual young people are less likely to take part in team sports. Research shows gay boys and young men taking part at less than half the rate of straight/heterosexual men (UBC, 2017)
- Only 18% of active gay men participate in traditional sports (2CV/ Pride Sports, 2017)
- More than half of trans people (54%) feel excluded from sport or feel they have to give up sport at some point because of their gender identity (Outsport 2019)
- 39% of non-binary people avoid clubs for fear of harassment (Scottish Trans, 2016)
Both Lincolnshire FA and Football v Homophobia believe that LGBTIQ+ people deserve a place in football and that clubs hold the key to making football welcoming and inclusive of LGBTIQ+ people.
How To Get Involved
The Month of Action provides an opportunity to learn more about LGBTIQ+ inclusion in grassroots football and to show your support for LGBTIQ+ people in the game.
As part of the Football v Homophobia month of action, Lincolnshire FA will be hosting a 6-a-side festival and Q&A panel discussion at Lincoln City’s LNER Stadium on Sunday 11th February. To find out more about this, click here.
Lincolnshire FA will also be hosting two LGBTQ+ Workshops during February's Football v Homophobia Month, supporting clubs and organisations on how they can make their settings more LGBTQ+ inclusive and ensure that football is truly for all. To find out more about the workshops, click here.
Throughout February, we also encourage clubs to show visible support for LGBTIQ+ inclusion by designating a game.
How To Designate A Game
Choose a game to designate to Football v Homophobia #FvH2024. This game can be a league game, a cup game or even a friendly.
Once you have a match confirmed think about ways in which you can share the Football v Homophobia message with as many people as possible:
- The opposition team
- County/Regional FA (Who may want to offer support/send along a representative)
- Local Authority
- Community groups of interest (e.g. those with an equalities or LGBTIQ+ focus)
Your messaging might include the following:
- Explaining to your players why you are supporting #FvH2024
- Emailing your contacts to let them know that the event is going ahead, with an outline of what you will be doing on the day
- Social media posts promoting your event – please use #FvH2024 in all your posts &, if you’re happy to do so, tag Football v Homophobia
- An article on your website/social media outlining your involvement in the FvH Grassroots initiative
You may find that participating in the Month of Action is a great way of raising the profile of your club in the local community.
When the day of your game arrives, there are a few things you may want to do to ensure everything runs smoothly:
- Make any officials aware that it is an #FvH2024 designated game
- Take a team photo and share this across your social media platforms
- Distribute Football v Homophobia fliers to your players, the opposing team, officials and supporters, or anyone else you think might benefit from our message
You could also:
- Make a short video clip about why your team is supporting #FvH2024 (phone camera video is good enough) and share these on social media. Players & managers speaking about the importance of inclusion can be very powerful.
- You may have creative ideas for social media posts supporting your event and the campaign, so please feel free to come up with some of your own concepts to support our message that Football is for everyone. Any posts tagging FvH or using #FvH2024 will be shared by the campaign.
AFTER THE DAY
Please send a couple of your best photos to email@example.com
Support From Local Media
The Month of Action also provides an opportunity to raise awareness through local media around your club and the inclusion / community work that you do. With LGBT+ History Month activities also receiving increasing prominence, outlets in your area are likely to be more accommodating to pitches and content ideas.
Identifying a strong news angle - such as a fundraising event, a powerful personal narrative, or a quirky line that is unusual and surprising - is the best way to pique interest of journalists and editors. Think about the imagery you might be able to provide to accompany this - is there an innovative eye-catching way you can incorporate inclusive Pride flag colours, the FvH logo, or reflect the diverse representation in your membership?
Remember to reach out to radio stations as well as publications and consider targeting social media influencers too. You might be able to persuade them to join a training session or watch a match! A well-crafted, succinct press release that includes quotes from key personnel alongside relevant information is the perfect way to promote what you’re doing and what you’re about!
To support your designated game, Football v Homophobia have a range of resources available.
Grassroots clubs involved in the Month of Action can use the discount code MOA24to purchase an FvH match ball from our website for a discounted amount of £16 (33% discount).
Purchase a Rainbow Match Ball Here
Grassroots clubs involved in the Month of Action can use the discount code ARM24 to purchase a progress armband from our website for a discounted amount of £5 (50% discount).
Purchase a Rainbow Captain's Armband Here
There is, of course, a range of other resources available to buy from our online shop such as t-shirts, badges etc:
Football v Homophobia Shop
Social Media Suggestions
X (FORMERLY TWITTER)
[INSERT CLUB NAME] is supporting the @fvhtweets Month of Action in February by designating a game to the campaign. Our #FvH2024 game is taking place on [INSERT
DETAILS]. Football is For Everyone.
[INSERT CLUB NAME] is supporting the @football_v_homophobia Month of Action in February by designating a game to the campaign. Our #FvH2024 game is taking place
on [INSERT DETAILS]. Football is For Everyone. Suggested additional hashtags: #LGBTQinclusion #LGBT #LGBTQ #LGBTQIA #Football #Soccer
[INSERT CLUB NAME] is supporting the @fvhpage Month of Action in February by designating a game to the campaign. Our #FvH2024 game is taking place on [INSERT DETAILS]. Football is For Everyone.
Jordan Mason, Lincolnshire FA's Football Development Officer (Disability & Inclusion), said: "Football v Homophobia is the perfect opportunity for you to join the rest of the football community in making football a more inclusive game for everyone. Lincolnshire football has made tremendous strides in making the game more welcoming for the LGBTQ+ community, but homophobia still exists throughout the football pyramid.
Whether you want to be part of our Football v Homophobia Festival, attend one of our LGBTQ+ Inclusion Workshops, engage with the campaign on social media, or dedicate one of your own matches to the campaign, you can help us make sure football is for all."
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