TengroupsinEurope,AfricaandCentralAmericahavebeenawardeda€400grant torunanti-discriminationactivities andcelebratediversityinfootballaspartoftheFareand FootballvHomophobia(FvH)smallgrantsprogrammeforthe InternationalDayAgainstHomophobia,Transphobia&Biphobia(IDAHOT),on17May.
The grants programme will fund activities such as football tournaments, awareness-raising campaigns, social gatherings and panel discussions around discrimination and LGBT participation in football, in countries including Bulgaria, Cameroon, Czech Republic, Greece, Israel, Italy, Mexico and Serbia.
The activities around IDAHOT aim to promote and further the FvH core goals worldwide, namely: making existing football structures safe, welcoming and inclusive for LGBT people; creating opportunities for LGBT people to engage with football; and improving the representation of LGBT people throughout football.
FvH director Lou Englefield said: “We had a large number of applications for ten grants. The successful projects represent a range of initiatives marking IDAHOT around the world, from grass roots football to the professional game.
“Projects include involvement of players, fans, coaches and anti-discrimination organisations working across a range of diverse communities to make football more accessible to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”
Celebrated every 17 May, IDAHOT was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTI people internationally.
In 2015 the focus of the international day is LGBTI youth, to highlight the right of people to grow up in safe and welcoming environments, where they can develop their personalities and talents respectfully of their individualities.
2015 grant recipients:
Association Thirst for Life (Sliven)
The Bulgarian organisation will organised a day of action to address discrimination against LGBT people within the Roma community.
Fans and Players vs. Homophobia (Sofia)
On 17 May fans and players of FC Academic will attend the women’s football encounter between National Sports Academy and Sportica wearing Football v Homophobia t-shirts. Players and team managers will also wear the t-shirts during the warm-up to further a message of inclusion in football. Stickers and other resources will be distributed among fans.
ADEFHO team and another local team will organise a discussion under the topic “The exclusion of lesbian and bisexual women in African soccer teams, how to create a safe place for LGBT people in football”.
A match will also be organised as part of the event.
Barflies United (Prague)
Barflies United will organise a football tournament under the theme ‘Love Football Hate Racism – Homophobia is just fear’ on 16 May. At the tournament the group will draw the attention of fans and players to the challenges and discrimination faced by sexual minorities in Czech Republic.
Association of football clubs in Kos Island (Kos Island)
On 17 May, the association will organise an action day against LGBT-phobia constituted of a five-a-side football tournament followed by a ceremony where the participants and attendees will renew their commitment to challenge discrimination by signing the Council of Europe Anti-Homophobia Charter. A panel discussion will address discrimination in football and best practice to tackle homophobia inside stadiums.
New Israel Fund (Jerusalem)
Jerusalem-based New Israel Fund will invite representatives of Hapoel Katamon and Rainball Tel Aviv, the first and the biggest LGBT sports club in Israel, to participate in an anti-homophobia match.
A.S.D. Balon Mundial ONLUS (Turin)
Balon Mundial will kick-off a local campaign to challenge prejudice and the exclusion of LGBT people in immigrant comminities in the region of Piedmont.
The organisation will hold a street football tournament on 17 May to foster new opportunities for LGBT people in football and a conference on homophobia in football.
The group will also invite LGBT fan groups and clubs to participate in this year’s edition of their annual tournament (in July) and further the debates initiated around IDAHOT.
DIDESEX A.C. (Tecámac)
Civil rights association DIDESEX A.C. will run a nation-wide campaign with LGBT football teams from five different Mexico states, including México City, Colima, Guerrero, Estado de México and Tamaulipas, to raise awareness of the stigma and discrimination around the LGBT community and at the same time give visibility to grassroots football.
A meeting with the teams’ leaders will be organised to structure the campaign, which will be followed by a photo session. On 17 May the campaign will be launched and widely promoted through social and local media. Informative resources and other materials will be distributed at matches.
Brigada Azul Crema (Mexico city)
Brigada Azul Crema, the fan group of first league Club América, will organise a campaign in stadiums and across several neighbourhoods of the Mexico city to raise awareness of discrimination in football. T-shirsts, flags, flyers, stickers will be produced with slogans around the topic.
Peachwise (Novi Sad)
The women’s football team Peachwise will organise a friendly anti-homophobia football match against the Belgrade-based LGBT team FemSlam followed by a social gathering for the participants.