Football Federation Australia (FFA) has taken the next step in promoting inclusion in football for LGBTI employees, players, clubs, volunteers and spectators by joining Pride in Sport as a Foundation Partner.
Pride in Sport is Australia’s first and only sporting inclusion program specifically designed to assist National and State sporting organisations and clubs with the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) participants.
They assist Australian sporting organisations with all aspects of LGBTI inclusion and work with members to achieve best practice as benchmarked by the Pride in Sport Index in order to create better health outcomes for individuals by creating inclusive spaces through the reduction of homophobia, stigma and discrimination.
“FFA's vision is for football to be the largest and most popular sport in Australia. In seeking to achieve this vision, FFA is committed to taking a leadership role in ensuring that football is a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment for all participants,” said FFA chief executive David Gallop.
“This includes taking a proactive and preventative approach to addressing discrimination, and in particular, homophobia and transphobia, and the alienation which such behaviour can often cause.”
According to the recent Out on the Fields study, 80% of those surveyed witnessed or experienced homophobia in sport and 75% of Australians believe an openly gay, lesbian or bisexual person would not be very safe as a spectator of a sporting event. At tonight’s Big Blue against Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC will be waving the rainbow flag among a range of activations at the match to help kick homophobia out of sport.
“At FFA we believe it is the right of every player, coach, volunteer and fan to feel accepted, on and off the sporting field, regardless of their sexuality,” Mr Gallop said.
FFA has supported LGBTI organisations and initiatives directly over a number of years including the annual Pride Football Australia tournaments, a commitment made in 2014 to eliminate homophobia in football and membership of an advisory group established to assist Pride in Diversity in the development of the Pride in Sport Index.