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Police and ITFC support Football v Homophobia

February 15, 2013, 2:33 pm

Suffolk Police and Ipswich Town Football Club are playing their part in kicking homophobia out of football.

Football v Homophobia (FvH), the brainchild of The Justin Campaign, is an international initiative uniting fans, players, communities, grassroots teams, professional clubs and the Football Authorities in opposing homophobia and prejudice against LGB&T (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans) people in football.

ITFC, with the support of Suffolk Police, will advertise and promote the ‘Football v Homophobia’ international initiative at their home game against Watford on Tuesday 19th February.

FvH is endorsed and supported by The Football Association, The Football League and the League Managers Association. Year round, FvH enables people to take action against prejudice and discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity in football, and to celebrate and welcome diversity in the game. This culminates in an international show of support in February to raise awareness of the issue and to showcase new and existing work.

Chief Superintendent Jon Brighton, County Policing Commander at Suffolk Police said:  “Suffolk Police fully support Ipswich Towns involvement in the campaign. Hate Crime is a serious crime that undermines our communities. Police officers inside and outside the ground will not tolerate any sort of hate crime, including offensive chanting. The club’s work to make the game more inclusive for everyone is something we are pleased to be associated with.”

ITFC Club Secretary Sally Webb said: ” Ipswich Town Football Club is proud once again to offer our support for this initiative. Homophobia, prejudice and discrimination against LGB&T people in football is unacceptable and Ipswich Town Football Club are committed to creating safe and inclusive football environments for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Together with FvH we will work to improve football for our LGB&T supporters, players and fans and to protect the right of everyone to participate. ”

Deborah Charles of Suffolk Hate Crime Service said: “Suffolk Hate Crime Service is pleased that ITFC is supporting this initiative and stating that homophobia is not acceptable.

“We would encourage anyone who has been a victim or witness of Homophobia in Suffolk to contact Suffolk Police and report it where they will be treated sensitively.  If they prefer they can contact Suffolk Hate Crime Service anonymously on01473 668966 or report@suffolkhatecrime.org.uk With each report that we receive an offer of support can be made to the victim and the offender challenged for their behaviour.”

The initiative will provide the game, be it clubs, players, supporters or activists, with an opportunity to showcase the work they’re doing to combat homophobic abuse and intimidation, in turn increasing public awareness at the same time.

The Justin Campaign is named after Justin Fashanu, the only British openly gay footballer; he committed suicide in 1998.

For more information please go to: www.footballvhomophobia.com

ITFC has a STAMP IT OUT text message service number  07834 439 429 (standard text rates apply) which is available for all supporters to report instantly yet discreetly by text any incident they feel needs attention, enabling the Club to take immediate and appropriate action. All reports will be handled in the strictest confidence.

 
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