FARE core partner BAFF (Buendnis Aktiver Fußballfans), is tackling the last big taboo in football – Homosexuality.
Dutch referee John Blankenstein, who has previously refereed the UEFA Champions League final, spoke on the 17 October 2003 to a packed audience about his experiences as the only openly gay referee in football. He spoke during BAFF’s hugely successful “Tatort Stadion – Racism & Discrimination in Football” exhibition, held in Gelsenkirchen, the home town of FC Schalke 04. The exhibition and discussion formed part of FARE’s Action Week.
Although homosexuality is becoming increasingly accepted in society, it still remains a taboo subject in professional football, resulting in very few people choosing to come out. Mr Blankenstein discussed his experiences of football fans and football authorities; and talked about the way forward to challenge this discrimination.
BAFF is at the forefront of the campaign and has developed a 7-point plan of action against the discrimination of homosexuals in football.