Football Workshops

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Two workshops, one during the EuroGames in Antwerp and one on October 12, 2007, in Berlin were the kick-off to put homophobia and sexism on the agenda of clubs and national FAs. The new EGLSF campaign “Football is everything” supported by FARE hopes to bring at least anti-discrimination provisions including anti-sexist passages to stadiums, club, and FA regulations, and statutes as a first step within the anti-discrimination work. July 2007: More than Playing Games – Antwerp, Belgium

Conference report; October 2007: Football is Everything – Berlin, Germany

In the future, EGLSF wants to widen this campaign. The Advocacy plan 2007-2010 shows that the work within the football community is just the pilot project to implement a strategy to combat all forms of discrimination and to promote equality in sports. FAIR PLAY, TOLERANCE & SAFETY IN SPORTS FOR EVERYONE. In 1996, the EGLSF was invited to the International Conference of the European Council in Amsterdam as the only delegate of the gay and lesbian community. This conference, “International Round Table on Sports, Tolerance and Fair Play”, accepted a declaration that stands for fair play and tolerance and condemns discrimination in all forms. This declaration is supported by the EGLSF as a step in the right direction. However, the EGLSF expressed its disappointment that the discrimination against gay and lesbian athletes was not explicitly mentioned.

In 1999 the EGLSF organized a conference called “Building Bridges Between Regular Sports and Gay / Lesbian Sports” and gave a summary on the integration of gays and lesbians in regular sports. Due to the “Building Bridges” conference the Dutch Sports Ministry granted a subsidy to enable the EGLSF to work with European institutions and regular sports associations.

In 2001 the EGLSF was invited by the Council of Europe to participate in a special Ministers’ Conference on “Sport, Fair Play & Tolerance” at the recommendation of the Dutch authorities.

In 2002 the Council of Europe officially granted the EGLSF consultative status by which the organization was acknowledged as an expert on homosexuality in sports.

In 2002 the EGLSF initiated a motion for a recommendation on the problematic situation of lesbians and gays in sports in member states in the Council of Europe. Since September 2002 the EGLSF has been working together with other NGO- sports organizations in the field of anti-discrimination in sports in the FARE network (FARE, Football Against Racism Europe). There is more to do than fight racism alone; homophobia needs to be tackled as well. As a result of this cooperation, the German organization of football fan groups, BAFF, has adopted a 7-point action plan against homophobia. In a history exhibition touring Germany, a panel dedicated to the issue of homophobia in football was included.

In 2003 the EGLSF attended the UEFA conference “Unite Against Racism” in London. This conference was organized by UEFA in cooperation with Kick it Out (a FARE core partner and anti-racist group in London) and the English Football Association. At this conference, the topic of homophobia in football was addressed for the first time. A FARE conference was also held during the EuroGames in Copenhagen.

2004 was the 15th anniversary of the EGLSF, reason enough for a second “Building Bridges” conference. The report can be downloaded at www.eglsf.info. At the Euro Games in Munich, a workshop on homosexuality and disability was organized in cooperation with the EGLSF.