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How are we going to effectively tackle homophobia in football?

The path to equality in football has proven to be a challenging one.

As Justin Fashanu is still the only player to have come out during his career, 27 years on, we are still struggling to find acceptance in the most popular sport in the UK.

Although the likes of Thomas Hitzlsperger, Robbie Rogers and David Haigh have paved the way for LGBT players and managers in football, there is still issue with footballers coming out during their career while playing in the Premier League.

While a culture of homophobia may surround the sport, it is also something that affects LGBT fans.

And according to Stonewall, 72 percent of football fans have heard homophobic abuse.

Research from their latest campaign also says that 63 percent of people say more should be done to make LGBT people feel accepted in sport.

“We know we can’t solve this by ourselves and that’s why allies are so important. We need to create a culture where everyone can be themselves,” Stonewall chief executive Ruth Hunt said.

“From fans, to teams, and employees at all levels, when leadership organisations step up and commit to creating a welcoming and inclusive culture in football, everyone wins.”

In response to the issue, rainbow-coloured corner flags are to be displayed at all English Football League grounds in Championship, League 1 and League 2 matches between November 25 and December 3 in support of Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign, designed to tackle homophobia in football.

However, the Premier League will not follow the EFL’s lead in using rainbow corner flags, having already ruled out rainbow flags for assistant referees and rainbow goal nets.

Author Jasmine Andersson – Pink News

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