Iberian LGBT network launch anti-homophobia campaign in Spanish football07 June 2016

IberianLGBTnetworkAgrupaciónDeportivaIbéricaLGBT(ADILGBT)havelaunchedananti-homophobiacampaignaimedatcreatingasocialmovementinandaroundfootballdiverseandinclusivetoall.

Sin título-1The initiative has been shaped to help raise awareness of LGBT-phobia in Spanish football and of the need to fight the problem and create a tolerant environment for all football participants. In addition, through the campaign, ADI LGBT have committed to promote and support the creation of LGBT fan groups; promote LGBT people participation in sport; call on clubs and governmental authorities to promote campaigns and workshops to educate the wider society and make all top tier clubs adopt a protocol against homophobia in football.

On the launching day of #LuceTusColores (ENG Show Your Colours), the LGBT network announced their first measure to combat homophobia in football which consists of an online petition to include homophobia as a form of discrimination covered by the Spanish law against racism, xenophobia and intolerance in sport. Since it presentation, over 10,000 people have already signed the petition that will be sent to the Spanish Ministry to Education, Culture and Sport.

The campaign comes a month after Spain’s only open gay referee decided to quit football over ‘humiliating’ abuse. In March 2016, Jesus Tomillero, 21, was subjected to a series of homophobic incidents while officiating youth regional matches in Andalusia, which resulted in fines of €30 and €150 to the offenders.

Tomillero, who suggested there are gay referees officiating in La Liga, said he had received support from Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and former Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas, as well as his fellow officials, following the incidents. But he said fans, football clubs, coaches and players had made “deplorable” remarks and “homophobic slurs”.

The former referee and his newly created organisation ROJADIRECTA Andalucía LGTBI are key supporters of the campaign which kicked-off days before the start of EURO 2016 as reminder of the problem in the game.

Earlier in April, FC Barcelona fans chanted homophobic slurs against the Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo at a La Liga match between the two sides. The incident and lack of reaction from football authorities and both clubs was criticised by LGBT organisations in the country.

ADI LGTB is a network of LGBT organisations in Spain and Portugal and a umbrella organisation of over 2,000 LGBT sportsmen and women.

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