Football Association to tackle homophobia with video featuring football stars

December 27th, 2008 - 4:16 pm ICT by ANI  

David Beckham

London, Dec 27 (ANI): A video showing football stars speaking out against homophobia will be released next year as part of an unprecedented drive by the sports governing bodies to tackle a sharp rise in abuse and discrimination.

The video will be shown in cinemas, on TV and in stadiums in an attempt to rid terraces and pitches of homophobic chants and slurs, The Guardian reported.

The Football Association (FA), the Professional Footballers Association, the players union, Kick It Out, the sports diversity and inclusion campaign, and Peter Tatchell, of gay rights group Outrage, began work on plans for the video.

It is hoped that up to a dozen players, including David Beckham, Rio Ferdinand, Sol Campbell, David James, Wayne Rooney, Ashley Cole and Cristiano Ronaldo, will be persuaded to take part.

The video is due to be released in March 2009 and could be shown in schools if the FA wins the backing of the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

Were delighted that the FA has decided to produce and fund the video, it will have a hugely positive impact on young people and help to challenge bigoted attitudes among fans, said Tatchell.

The FA has put aside a budget of 20,000 pounds and is hoping that a major advertising agency will take on the project at minimal cost.

Gay rights groups have been pressing the FA to tackle homophobia and believe the ad campaign is a breakthrough, prompted by a number of recent high-profile allegations of homophobia.

Danny Lynch, of Kick It Out, said that football - often seen as the one of the last bastions of homophobia - was out of synch with public opinion. (ANI)

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