England manager and West Ham United show support for anti-homophobia campaign
Roy Hodgson has called on fans from across the game to support Football v Homophobia throughout 2013.
The England Manager was speaking as the FA sent out educational resources around the Football v Homophobia campaign to all 92 Premier and Football League clubs, 1,600 clubs playing in the non-League pyramid and 50 County Football Associations.
The resources are available on the FA website.
West Ham United are also supporting the campaign and trained in Football v Homophobia shirts ahead of their Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur on Monday evening.
“I’ve been lucky enough to manage clubs and countries across the globe,” said Hodgson, who has taken charge of Inter Milan, Switzerland, UAE and Finland in a near 40-year coaching career.
“I can say from experience that football is a game that transcends different cultures and religions and it’s a sport that lends itself to things like diversity and inclusion because of the worldwide appeal.
He added: “I’d never want to see someone excluded from playing or watching the game because they’re fearful of what might be said to them. That’s why it’s important that we’re all supportive of Football v Homophobia.
“Like anything, education is the key to progression and creating an atmosphere that allows everyone to enjoy the game we’re all passionate about.”
West Ham United captain Kevin Nolan echoed Hodgson’s words: “It’s important that we, as a club and as a squad, support the Football v Homophobia campaign,” he said.
“We’re role models and we’ve got to ensure that we respect all members of society and show that we’re open minded.
“If someone told me, or any of the lads, that they were gay it wouldn’t change our view of them one iota and that’s the only way it can be, so it’s a vital message to push.”
FA150 ambassador and Stonewall FC founder, Aslie Pitter, said: “It’s fantastic to see so much high-profile support for Football v Homophobia.
“When we started Stonewall FC over 20 years ago it was unthinkable at the time that big names from football would one day be standing side-by-side with us in tackling homophobic attitudes and behaviour.
“Since the launch of the FA’s Opening Doors and Joining In campaign last year, this agenda has become a real talking point and it’s great to see the game united in a common cause.”
Football v Homophobia director Megan Worthing-Davies added: “In order to effectively challenge homophobia and transphobia in football, it is imperative that clubs and their players support the message of Football v Homophobia.
“We are delighted to see Roy Hodgson and West Ham leading the way in standing up against discrimination and congratulate them for their high profile and clear stance on the issue.”
Club Website took a look at the issue of football’s last taboo in February 2012.