Exeter City will take another stand against homophobia at its match against Crawley Town on Saturday, February 29 at St James Park.
The match has been designated as the club’s annual 'Football v Homophobia' fixture and a number of initiatives to mark the day have been organised by Exeter City Supporters’ Trust and its One Game One Community (OGOC) Group.
This will be the 11th time that an annual Exeter City home game has been designated as an FvH match.
Players from both teams will warm up in Football v Homophobia t-shirts. These will be thrown to the crowd before the start of the game. The players will then walk out for the pre-match line-up behind a Football v Homophobia banner.
A guard of honour will be formed by Isca Apollo Football Club, the LGBT+ inclusive football team, which was inducted as an Exeter City FC community-supported team at half-time at Exeter City's dedicated Football v Homophobia dedicated match on Saturday, February 16, 2019.
Prior to the game volunteers will give out FvH flyers and also view an Exeter City FC Museum exhibition which features a display about the late Justin Fashanu, the first male English professional footballer to come out as gay while playing. Justin played in a match for Torquay United at Exeter's St James Park.
The volunteers, from Exeter City FC's One Game One Community (Kick it Out) Group, along with members of Proud Grecians, Exeter City FC's LGBT+ and allies supporters group, Isca Apollo, the LGBT+ inclusive football team, Exeter Pride volunteers and individuals from the community, will also take part in a group photo with a giant FvH flag.
Alan Quick, a member of the Supporters Trust and its OGOC Group, co-founder of Exeter Pride and local co-ordinator for Football v Homophobia, said: "Homophobia like all discrimination, has no place in football. It's time to call full-time on hate.
"Exeter City has a great record on opposing homophobia and two years ago the club was recognised with an award for its long-term commitment by Lou Englefield, Director of the national Football v Homophobia campaign, who presented the OGOC Group with a commemorative pennant.
"The OGOC group and the Club have a proud record of making sure football is welcoming for all."
Exeter City’s One Game One Community Group works with the national Kick it Out campaign to address all types of discrimination in football including race, disability, gender, age and sexual orientation.
Alan added: "Homophobia and prejudice and discrimination against LGBT people in football is unacceptable and I am really pleased that Exeter City is committed to creating safe and inclusive football environments for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
"Prejudice and discrimination in football affects us all, not just LGBT people.
"My late friend, Justin Fashanu, the first ever out gay male professional footballer suffered from racism and bullying and hostility after his sexual orientation became public, but so too have heterosexual footballers such as Graeme Le Saux and Sol Campbell.
"LGBT people are everywhere. Sons, daughters, mums, dads, aunties and uncles could be LGBT. LGBT people are in all walks of life. They are receptionists, doctors, bus drivers, physios, and yes, even footballers."
If you witness any behaviour during a game, like anti-gay chanting and hateful or prejudiced language, speak to a nearby steward, the police, a club official, or contact the FA by telephone 0800 085 0508 or email: footballforall@TheFA.com
"Remember, doing nothing only allows discrimination to get worse!" Alan added.
You can also report via the Kick it Out website: www.kickitout.org
, via email at email@example.com
, the Kick It Out mobile app, which is free to download, or telephone Kick it Out on 0800 169 9414. Alternatively report incidents via Facebook/KickitOutOfficial or Twitter @KickitOut
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