LGBT rights a major focus of Football People weeks as groups unite worldwide

LGBT rights are once again a major focus of the Football People weeks in 2018, as organisations around the world come together to promote LGBTQI inclusion in football. Grassroots organisations, professional clubs and national associations are all holding events around the world to raise awareness of and tackle the issues of homophobia, transphobia, LGBT rights and greater inclusion for LGBTQI people. This weekend in Madrid, LGBT+ group Observatorio Arcópoli will run a football tournament to tackle LGBTIphobia in sports. The group has been vocal about recent incidents of homophobia and transphobia in Spain, and will continue their activism with events lined up at the weekend. https://twitter.com/arcopoli/status/1052863567429599232 In the city of Nice, LGBT rights association Caram’elles are hosting a roundtable focusing on the difficulties refugee women face when playing football and how they overcome these barriers. At the event, refugee women who played in the 2018 Gay Games in Paris will share their experiences. A reception will also be held where newly-arrived refugees and asylum seekers in the city will be presented with playing licenses that will allow them to join a sports team. In Slovakia, during the opening weekend of the action weeks Saplinq Slovakia hosted a number of events on how to tackle homophobia in sport.  will also be a “radical” embroidery workshop where participants will design scarves and badges with anti-discrimination slogans. A panel discussion and workshop were held in Bratislava, along with a football tournament at the Telocvičňa Mladosť sports complex with LGBTQ organisations and LGBT activists from throughout Slovakia taking part. After the tournament, a party and awards ceremony took place to conclude two fun-filled days that celebrate inclusion and aim to tackle some of the major issues facing the LGBTQ community in sports. https://twitter.com/farenet/status/1051099903911518208 In Sweden, LGBT rights group Queerstation are running a ‘Strength in Diversity’ family sports day this weekend in the southern district of Liljeholmen, Stockholm, for trans refugees and asylum seekers, supporters of LGBT rights and families. In Poland, KS Chrząszczyki have organised several events, including a free-to-attend football tournament and panel discussion in Warsaw. https://www.facebook.com/Chrzaszczyki/posts/2394173687289405?__tn__=-R In Austria, Vienna Fußballfans gegen Homophobie Österreich are hosting a lecture with academic Simon Volpers where he will talk about masculinity amongst ultra groups, focusing on masculinity and its links to homophobia. After the lecture, a discussion will take place tackling the main challenges around homophobia in football, with several fan groups in attendance. Turkish groups are showing up in unprecedented numbers to support the action weeks this year, and LGBT rights are a focus of Turkish group Atletik Dildoa, whose Football People event takes place this weekend. They will run four different activities during the action weeks on sexism, homo-, bi- and transphobia, including a photo exhibition and tournament bringing together influential LGBT groups and female football teams https://www.facebook.com/atletikdildoa/photos/a.154603634895391/694488150906934/?type=3&theater Professional football clubs have also got involved. In Austria, Austrian Bundesliga club Sturm Graz are one of many clubs backing the 'Gemeinsam Gegen Homophobie' (Together against homophobia) campaign running in line with the action weeks.

Other events celebrating LGBT inclusion were held in countries from the Netherlands to Macedonia and from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Cyprus. The message is loud and clear: discrimination holds no place in sport or in life, and several grassroots groups around the world are working hard to stamp out LGBTphobia in football wherever it may be.

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