No room for homophobia!

Pride in Football and Three Lions Pride have called on UEFA to act upon anti-LGBT banners throughout Polish domestic games.

Over recent weeks, it has become apparent that homophobia is a common issue within the Polish football league. UEFA have been urged to pressure the Polish FA due to the offensive displays in the past few weeks. The issue has been highlighted by multiple organisations including The Fare Network, a Europe-wide organisation whom are devoted to tackling discrimination.

In a letter written to UEFA by Pride in Football and Three Lions Pride, the issue is addressed with a request for them to take action against the Polish FA. The letter calls for the football authorities to take a strong stand against discrimination and to ensure that the issue is resolved quickly. One of the main forms of punishment suggested, was for the Polish National teams European qualifier against Latvia to be cancelled, however this was not accommodated for.

Three Lions Pride are England’s LGBT+ fan group. Photo credit: SkySports

Pride in Football stated: “We are deeply concerned at the apparent lack of action from the Polish FA in response to recent anti-LGBT and homophobic fan banners at clubs in Poland, LGBT+ fans (and all supporters including those from any minority community) should feel safe and welcome to watch their team wherever they are playing.”

The letter tackles the issue by addressing the fact that UEFA ‘champions such equality’ and ‘the criteria for eligibility to participate in its competitions specifies that member associations actively address any form of discrimination.’ It is clear that UEFA are not living up to this, by them taking no action.

Poland is currently ranked 38th among 49 European countries with regards to LGBT+ rights, their current discrimination laws do very little to protect the community and this has resulted in the intolerance towards LGBT+ people being rife under the countries right-wing government. Perhaps this is the issue for Poland, but something needs to be done to allow for the community to feel accepted not just in football, but in their every day life.

Pride in Football are the UK’s alliance of LGBT+ supporter groups. Photo credit: SkySports

It is concerning that such homophobia still exists in this ever changing world. Acceptance of diversity is constantly increasing, but it is clear that in some areas of the world and certain individuals will need more time than others.

Through incredible organisations such as Pride in Football, Football vs Homophobia and Three Lions Pride, I have no doubt that the level of discrimination will continue to decrease as a response to the powerful work that these organisations do.

It is now on UEFA to respond and tackle the issue that we face.

For advice on tackling homophobia in football and how to get involved, visit:

http://prideinfootball.co.uk/

http://3lionspride.co.uk/

http://www.footballvhomophobia.com/

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