French organisation gathers fans groups to tackle homophobia24 September 2013

Theanti-homophobiacampaignandfootballteam,ParisFootGay(PFG)organisedaninternationalgatheringearlierthismonth,forsupportergroupstodiscussthepresenceofhomophobiainfootballstadiums.

Named ‘b.Yourself’, the initiative was part of the Parisian club’s objective to promote an open dialogue amongst fans on the issue of homophobia. The gathering included a football tournament and two round table discussion events, focusing on the use of homophobic and offensive language, which were chaired by Nicolas Hourcade, a sociologist who specialises in fan culture and Fanny Marie Brisdet, a lawyer and adviser on homophobia to the Dutch Football Association (KNVB).

“It is necessary to fight discrimination in football and homophobia amongst fans. In my opinion, these initiatives are very constructive because they develop partnerships with supporters, instead of punishing them”, commented Hourcade.

Some of the supporters groups attending the event included Napoli San Gennar (Naples), Marine et Blanc (Bordeaux), Lyon Hexagone, Titifosis PSG, a PSG fans group, CSPFCN (Nantes), La Penya du Barça (Barcelona), Liverpool France OLSC (French Branch), Dogues de Paris (Lille), Famille AJA (Auxerre) and Kop Wolf 34 (Montpellier).

The initiative is part of a project which began in 2010 at a national conference of football fans groups at Stade de France. To help widen out the project, educational materials and a video of the activities will be released in the next few months as part of PFG’s strategy to address issues of homophobia in both football and society.