FIFA headquarters host LGBT fan groups’ meeting

Representatives of 80 lesbian, gay, bi- and trans football fans groups met over the weekend at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, to address their concerns over human rights abuse in Russia and Qatar, the hosting countries of the upcoming 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

The 17th international conference of the umbrella organisation Queer Football Fanclubs kicked-off on Friday evening (4 September) at FC Zurich, museum, where the club’s chairman, Ancillo Canepa, welcomed the participants in the opening speech and highlighted his support for for the gay rights movement.

On Saturday morning, in three workshop sessions the participants discussed opportunities linked to the increasing internationalisation of QFF; how cooperation with other groups can enhance the expertise and remit of the network; and in a creative hand-on session headlined 'Messages for FIFA and the world' the participants produced banners addressing issues relating to 'Social Fairplay' in football and showed solidarity with refugees.

In the afternoon, representatives of the QFF members updated the assembly about developments and activities in their football clubs and Fare gave an overview of its international LGBT activities.

The meeting closed with the QFF committee handing over a letter to FIFA representatives calling for the adherence of anti-discrimination legislation on grounds of race, sexual orientation, religion to become a criterion for the allocation of international FIFA tournaments.

"We are sure that homophobia and homosexuality will be on FIFA agenda for the next years", said Marcel Tappeiner, a representative of Letzi Junxx, adding "If our conference can contribute to push this, even if just a little bit more, all this work was worth it."

The next QFF meeting will take place in Germany, Gelsenkirchen in January 2016.

QFF is a network of supporters groups from Germany, Switzerland, Spain and the Netherlands and also a Fare Network member founded ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany by fans from Berlin, Stuttgart and Dortmund to give voice and visibility to LGBT football fans.

Report incident