Members of the local football community came together at Arbour Park Community Stadium in Slough on Sunday 23rd February for an exhibition match in support of Football V Homophobia 2020 and to raise awareness of how to report acts of discrimination in the grassroots game.
Representative from Berks & Bucks FA, The FA, Slough Borough Council, Oxfordshire FA, Soho FC, Left Footers Fc, Slough JustPlay! and the International Gay & Lesbian Football Association came together for the game to support the Football v Homophobia (FvH) campaign which exists to challenge discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression at all levels in football.
February marks the international campaign’s month of action, where people and organisations across the game help spread the message of FvH through initiatives such as: support on social media, dedicated match days, wearing campaign t-shirts or exhibition games such as at Arbour Park Community Stadium on Sunday.
Organised by Berks & Bucks FA the event was part of our ongoing commitment to supporting equality in the game and promoting Football #ForAll. It also served as an opportunity to raise awareness of how people across the game locally can report discrimination through The FA’s new online reporting system.
Simon Wears, Football Development Manager and Inclusion Lead at Berks & Bucks FA, said: “Our fixture in support of Football vs Homophobia at Arbour Park in Slough was a brilliant way for us to promote ‘Football #ForAll’ and show our support to this important campaign along with some of our key partners from across the region.
“In addition to supporting the Football v Homophobia campaign, the event also provided an important opportunity for us to raise awareness of how to report discrimination, through The FA’s new Tell Us – We’ll Tackle It campaign which aims to encourage all participants and spectators to report any acts of discrimination that they witness within grassroots football.”
Tell Us, We’ll Tackle It was rolled out by Berks & Bucks FA as part of a national FA campaign and was designed to put further emphasis on the importance of reporting incidents of discrimination, reassuring people that it makes a tangible difference and that the updated process is simple and effective.
The FA has also created a video to outline its zero-tolerance approach, reiterating that there’s no place for discrimination in football, whether it’s online, in training, on the pitch or on the sidelines.
The two teams on the day, made up of participants from the various organisations, were named; ‘Rainbow Laces FC’ and ‘Stonewall Utd’. Officiated by Steven De Souza-Wilson, a member of the International Gay & Lesbian Football Association, the game was evenly matched with the eventual winners, Stonewall Utd, edging out Rainbow Laces FC by a score of 7-6 at the final whistle.
The event was supported by local Buckinghamshire based sports news and image service, SportsShots, who were in attendance on the day to provide photography.
View Match Photos
Watch The FA video reiterating that there is no place for discrimination in football, here.