The pioneer research is currently being conducted across the eight provinces of the Andalusia region, Southern Spain, including Almería, Cádiz, Córdoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaén, Málaga and Seville, and counts with he collaboration of a number of the region’s first division and lower league clubs.
The list of clubs participating in the Football and Homophobia study includes: Córdoba FC, Granada FC, Málaga FC, Sevilla FC, Real Betis Balompie, UD Almeria, Recreativo de Huelva, Cadiz FC, Real Jaén, Linares Deportivo and Marbella FC.
Joaquin Piedra, a representative of the University of Seville Physical Education department, said: “In Spain football is currently seen as an area of male dominance, with a very pronounced tendency to exclude anyone who deviates from the ‘norm’.
“The heteronormative character of football has turned sexual diversity into a taboo subject.”
The information gathered by the study will help map the levels and extent of acceptance/rejection of sexual diversity in Andalucian football, both regarding male and female players.
“In order to do this, we built a short questionnaire which evaluates attitudes towards sexual diversity in sport. The aim is to assess this environment at all levels of football, from amateur teams to the top league clubs.” Piedra continued.
The findings will help LGBT groups develop campaigning strategies to tackle LGBT-phobia in Spanish football and give an overview of LGBT discrimination in the game.
Tackling on homophobia in football
The Football and Homophobia study was first announced at the ARCO IRIS and Málaga Association of Sports Writers roundtable last February, held on the International Day Against Homophobia in Football (19), to address LGBT discrimination in sport.
The initiative was organised as part of the ARCO IRIS long-standing commitment to tackle homophobia in Spanish sport. In 2013, the LGBT-rights group adapted to Spanish the European exhibition on 26 high profile LGBT sportsmen and women.
ARCO IRIS President, Gonzalo Serrano, explained: “With this online exhibition we want to show that LGBT people can live a normal, open life without the need to hide their sexuality. Hopefully, this will encourage all those who participate in sport to do the same.
“ARCO IRIS wants to show that those who are out and proud are happier, have more self-esteem and are less prone to the stress of living a ‘hidden life’.
The Football v Homophobia questionnaire can be found online. Clubs and individuals are welcomed fill it out and give their contribution to the research.