The UK’s governing football body, the Football Association (FA), has agreed to fund a video and DVD featuring high profile premier league players speaking out against homophobia.
The idea was put to the FA several months ago by Peter Tatchell of the gay human rights group OutRage!, as a way of challenging the anti-gay abuse hurled by fans at star players like Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell.
Examples cited were chants by fans at a match on 28 September last year which included the lines:
“Sol, Sol, wherever you may be / You’re on the verge of lunacy / And we don’t give a f*ck if you’re hanging from a tree / You Judas c*nt with HIV.”
“He’s big, he’s black. He takes it up his crack. Sol Campbell, Sol Campbell.”
At a meeting at the FA headquarters in Soho Square, London, Tatchell’s proposals were discussed by the FA and its partner equality and diversity organisation, Kick It Out, with the backing of the Professional Footballers’ Association, which represents Britain’s top players.
The proposals were approved and funding has been committed towards the project.
“The plan is to feature big-name stars speaking out against homophobia, in order to make anti-gay chants look as stupid, ignorant and un-cool as racist ones,” said Tatchell.
“Our wish list of participating football stars includes David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rio Ferdinand, Peter Crouch, David James, Wayne Rooney, John Terry, Frank Lampard, Theo Walcott and Michael Owen.”
The search is on for an advertising agency to write a script and produce the anti-homophobia video, said Tatchell.
“We’re pressing the FA to get this video broadcast on TV and at matches on the giant stadium screens. We also want the FA to put it on YouTube and distribute copies to every school in the country,” he explained.