Updated: Friday, 31st October 2014 @ 7:13pm

Hyde FC join fight against homophobia in football

Hyde FC join fight against homophobia in football

By James McLaughlin

Homophobia will be shown the red card at Hyde FC in a historic home match against Droylsden this Saturday.

The semi-professional club known as The Tigers will don 'Football v Homophobia' shirts before kick-off along with match ball sponsorship from LGBT campaign group 'Just A Ball Game?'.

This will be the first time any LGBT organisation has sponsored a match ball in a UK semi-professional football match and has been organised in conjunction with 'The Justin Campaign'.

The Justin Campaign's Director of Communications, Alan Duffy said: “The involvement of clubs such as The Tigers is vital to the continuing growth of Football v Homophobia in particular.”

The shirts will also be handed out to fans as well as flyers, stickers and badges with a campaign banner visible throughout the game.

'Just A Ball Game?' Founding Director Lindsay England said: “Although we will not change a culture over-night much progress is being made to educate.”

She added: “This is testimony to the club and management's proactive planning and forward thinking.”

Organised by The Justin Campaign, 'Football v Homophobia' aims to show solidarity against kicking homophobia out of football.

Events are being organised throughout the country and last year's scheme saw tournaments held across Europe.

A panel discussion was held in Sale last year involving the FA, Kick it Out and Pride Sports and this year's panel event will be held in Nottingham.

Pride Sports Director, Lou Englefield said: “It's all about raising awareness and increasing opportunities for sports participation.

The scheme was set up in 2010 on the birthday of former Manchester City forward, Justin Fashanu who was the only footballer to come out publicly in Britain.

Hyde FC were the first non-league football club to sign up to the government's anti-homophobia charter last December.

This prompted the award of the first monthly 'Equality Award' from the Manchester FA and Manchester Credit Union.

Manchester FA Social Inclusion Officer, John Hurst said: “We're one of the most forward thinking County Football Associations.

He added: “We're continuing to work with organisations such as Pride Sports to improve access to sports for members of the LGBT community.”

For more information about Football v Homophobia visit http://www.footballvhomophobia.com/