LGBT History Month in Somerset
February 2019 is Somerset FA’s Football V Homophobia month of action!
We have joined with Football v Homophobia and clubs across the county to bring their rainbow footballs to fixtures across our County Cup Competitions, Girls' Advanced Coaching Centre Festival and a Representative Team game. These dedicated fixtures will be used to raise the profile of inclusivity within football and support all LGBT+ participants in the game.
We are planning to bring 11 dedicated fixtures to Somerset in support of Football vs Homophobia's Month of Action across our:
- Premier Cup
- Women's Senior Cup sponsored by Melhuish and Saunders
- Women's Junior Cup
- Intermediate Cup
- Youth Shield
- U15 Cup
- U16 Representative Team
- Girls ACC Festival
Attitudes in football are changing, and Somerset FA are very excited to deliver this campaign across the county in order to make a positive difference to the culture of football. We work to create a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone in football, and you can join us by pledging your support using the link below, by attending one of our dedicated fixtures and using #FvH2019 across your social channels throughout February.
Jon Pike, Chief Executive of Somerset FA said: "We are delighted to have been gifted six rainbow balls to coordinate a range of dedicated fixtures across Somerset in February for the Football vs Homophobia Month of Action. The values of Somerset FA and Football vs Homophobia align perfectly, both working to make Football for Everyone. We believe this campaign can help make a positive difference and show football as the inclusive sport that it is"
Rachael Lawler-Edwards, Football Development Officer leading on Inclusion said: "This is a fantastic campaign to be a part of, and we’re delighted to bring it to several fixtures across Male, Female and Youth games across the County in February. Clubs at the dedicated fixtures have been delighted at their selection and the opportunity to showcase their teams as open and inclusive places to play the beautiful game"
Conor Ogilvie-Davidson, Somerset FA's Marketing Officer and organiser of #FvH2019 in Somerset said: "This has been a great campaign to organise. I’d like to thank Football vs Homophobia for sending us six rainbow balls and sets of resources. I’d also like to thank all of the clubs who have embraced this initiative so enthusiastically. It is great to have a range of teams from all of the County Cup rounds playing in February, to support from our Girls ACC U16s and U16 Representative Team Players all showing their support to LGBT inclusivity within football"
Planned fixtures are available to view in the calendar below, however some are unconfirmed and potentially subject to change.
Planned Dedicated Fixtures
43% of lesbian, gay or bisexual players have heard anti-gay abuse whilst playing grassroots football, so we’re teaming up with Football V Homophobia to tackle homophobia and transphobia in football and to make it truly the game for everyone. In the past few months, polls have shown that whilst football fans would be more accepting than ever of a gay player in their team, as many as 72% of fans have heard homophobic abuse at a football game.
Using anti-LGBT language towards someone because you do not like their style of play, management or a refereeing decision is wrong, it is against the laws of the game and it is also potentially a criminal offence. It also has a great impact on the atmosphere of football, potentially becoming an intimidating place for fellow participants.
Football v Homophobia exists to challenge discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression at all levels in football.
As an international initiative FvH engages in campaigning, education, advice and guidance, research, policy consultation and capacity building to:
- Make existing football structures safe, welcoming and inclusive for LGBTI people
- Create opportunities and promote engagement of LGBTI people in football at all levels and in all forms
- Improve the representation and visibility of LGBTI people throughout football
- To realise the potential of football in society as a tool to create positive change