Suffolk Police and Ipswich Town Football Club will play their part today in a campaign to kicking homophobia out of football.
‘Football v Homophobia’, the brainchild of The Justin Campaign, aims to unite communities and teams worldwide in their opposition of homophobia in football.
ITFC, with the support of Suffolk Police, will advertise and promote the ‘Football v Homophobia’ international initiative at their home game today (18) against Cardiff City, raising awareness of the campaign to eliminate homophobia from the beautiful game.
It is just one of the many events happening worldwide to mark the observance of ‘International Day Opposing Homophobia in Football’ which has the agreed endorsement and support of the Football Association (FA).
The activity at Portman Road will coincide with the day of action, which marks the birthday of the late Justin Fashanu, the only gay professional football player to come out in the UK to date.
Jason Hall, founder of the Justin Campaign, said: “The response to Football v Homophobia this year has been fantastic and we are delighted to have the support of both Ipswich Town Football Club and Suffolk Police.
”It is all about giving the community the opportunity to take their own individual stance and spread the word in the fight against homophobia in football.”
Chieff Superintendent David Skevington, County Policing Commander at Suffolk Police said: “Suffolk Police fully support Ipswich Town’s involvement in the campaign.
“Hate Crime is a serious crime that undermines our communities. Police officers inside and outside the ground will not tolerate any sort of hate crime, including offensive chanting.
“The club’s work to make the game more inclusive for everyone is something we are pleased to be associated with.”
Camilla Haycock, Media and PR Manager at ITFC said: “There is no place for homophobia in football. Ipswich Town is happy to support the Justin Campaign by emphasising its important message to our fans by flying the rainbow flag at Portman Road during Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual Trans Gender(LGBT)history month and via the match day programme.”
The initiative will provide the game, be it clubs, players, supporters or activists, with an opportunity to showcase the work they’re doing to combat homophobic abuse and intimidation, in turn increasing public awareness at the same time.
The Justin Campaign is named after Justin Fashanu, who committed suicide in 1998.
For more information please go to: www.footballvhomophobia.com