Exeter City Football Club will take a stand against homophobia in football at our home match against Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday, February 14.
The match against will be designated as the Club’s annual 'Football v Homophobia' fixture.
This will be the 14th time that an annual Exeter City home game has been designated as an FvH match. Volunteers from Proud Grecians, the club's LGBTQ+ and allies group, along with friends from Exeter Pride, Isca Apollo, Devon FA and the club's One Game One Community Group will be giving out flyers and stickers to some of those attending the game.
Players will warm up in Football v Homophobia t-shirts and there will be articles in the match programme and announcements made before the game.
The FvH campaign was launched to challenge discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression at all levels in football. It is an international initiative that engages in campaigning, education, advice and guidance, research, policy consultation and capacity building to make existing football structures safe, welcome and inclusive for LGBTI people.
The campaign also creates opportunities and promotes engagement of LGBTI people in football at all levels and in all forms, improve the representation and visibility of LGBTI people throughout football and to realise the potential of football in society as a tool to create positive change.
It was founded after the death of 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 on December 8, 1992. February 19 is significant as Justin Fashanu was born on that day and that was the inspiration for the FvH campaign. Over the last two years, FvH has taken on extra significance following the coming out of A-League star Josh Cavallo and Blackpool striker Jake Daniels, the first gay professional player in England since Fashanu.
Alan Quick, a member of the Supporters Trust and its OGOC Group and founder of Proud Grecians is the local co-ordinator for Football v Homophobia.
He 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 six 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. It comes in many forms, whether it is in person at a match, on social media and in other ways.
"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."
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.
Alternatively report incidents via Facebook/KickitOutOfficial or Twitter @KickitOut. You can follow FVH on Facebook or Twitter: @FvHtweets or visit the website: www.footballvhomophobia.com.
Alternatively, Exeter City have a dedicated match day hotline. Simply text "HELP ECFC" TO 62277 to report any form of discrimination within the stadium.
Proud Grecians shortlisted in Football v Homophobia awards
PROUD Grecians, the Exeter City LGBTQ+ and allies group, has been shortlisted in the Supporters' Group Category of the 2023 Football v Homophobia awards.
Proud Grecians has had a great impact at Exeter City since it was founded in February 2018. It leads some of the campaigns within the club and is actively involved in running the annual dedicated Football v Homophobia match campaign.
Proud Grecians also runs the Stonewall Rainbow Laces campaign at the club each November/December.
Volunteers from Proud Grecians work with other LGBT+ groups from the community to give out flyers, invite honoured guests, arrange match programme articles and announcements at dedicated games, helps with publicity and in the past has advised on training for staff and stewards regarding diversity and inclusion, homophobia and other forms of discrimination.
It also takes part in campaigns to make football welcoming for all LGBT+ people, whether players or supporters or staff.
Working with the club's One Game One Community Group the Proud Grecians have been involved in assisting with other campaigns and dedicated games.
Proud Grecians have provided advice and guidance to the club over many years, including advising on amending the club's Charter to be more inclusive, especially for LGBT+ supporters and staff.
Members have taken part in some match day meet-ups and pre-match chats with other club LGBT+ supporter groups.
They have also worked with Isca Apollo, the LGBT+ football team, Exeter Pride, University groups, etc.
The Proud Grecians banner is proudly displayed in the club ground on a permanent basis and members help at club events such as the annual OGOC five-a-side diversity tournament which normally attracts more than 100 participants.
Proud Grecians have really helped Exeter City take a stand against homophobia.
Alan Quick, the founder of Proud Grecians, will be attending the FvH Presentation Ceremony at the National Football Museum on Friday, February 24.
He said: "I am thrilled that Proud Grecians has made the shortlist.
"We are shortlisted with two other fine Supporters Groups, Proud Lilywhites and Rainbow Blades so we will be in good company at the event.
"Whether we are first, second or third will still be a great honour for Proud Grecians and Exeter City.
"It really is a tribute to the club and shows that it is committed to creating safe and inclusive football environments for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity."