Spanish football commits to fight against homophobia02 October 2014

LGBTnetworkCOLEGASandtheSpanishProfessionalFootballLeague(LFP)haveagreedtojoinforcestocounterhomophobiainSpainandpromotediversityacrossthegamethroughaneducationalcampaign.

At the meeting, held yesterday (1 October) in Madrid, the president of the Fare member group, Paco Ramírez, and the Integrity Director of LPF, Manuel Quintanar, analysed incidents in Spanish football and the extent of discriminatory abuse in and outside Spain’s professional football stadiums to draft a strategy to challenge homophobia.

Paco Ramírez said: “In theory, around 8 to 10% of professional footballers playing in Spain are gay. Being Spain one of the leading countries in terms of visibility and respect for LGBT rights not having players publicly coming out shows the opposite.

“Spanish football has to move forward and create an environment of tolerance, which allows players to come out without fearing for the repercussions of this decision in their careers”.

Both organisations agreed to create a work group to develop a good practice guide to clubs on how to promote diversity and jointly run awareness raising campaigns against homophobia in football. The development of workshops for clubs and stewards was also mentioned as a strategy to educate staff on how to deal with homophobic incidents and foster diversity.

The meeting follows the UEFA Respect Diversity Conference, attended by the LFP in September, in which one of the focus points was the fight against homophobia.

“The Spanish Professional Football League pledges to put in practice what was discussed at the conference and promote diversity at levels of football in Spain.” said the league’s representative Manuel Quintanar.

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