Captains of all clubs in the Jupiler Pro League and Proximus Leagues, Belgium’s top two professional divisions, will wear captain’s armbands in rainbow colours, while the corner flags at games in these top two tiers will also be in rainbow colours, as the nation’s football sends a message of diversity and inclusion for all.
Amateur clubs in Belgium will also take part in the rainbow weekend, as the Belgian Pro League, in collaboration with the Belgian FA, ACFF and Voetbal Vlaanderen, looks to celebrate LGBT+ inclusion in sport as part of the Football v Homophobia month of action.
The flags and captain’s armbands will all be auctioned off post-match, and a portion of the revenues will go to a refuge supporting LGBT+ youngsters in Belgium.
As well as this initiative on the pitch, the Belgian Pro League has also announced plans to set up an advisory board with representatives from LGBT+ organisations. These groups will join and advise on the development of an action plan to tackle discriminatory chanting in Belgian football.
The league has also created a video telling the stories of four football fans from different backgrounds, and how they experience their passion for the sport in the face of discriminatory behaviour and chanting that can blight the game and their enjoyment. The Belgian Pro League will share this video throughout the weekend, both online and at games.
Stijn Van Bever, spokesperson for the Belgian Pro League, said: “This weekend, the Pro League will use its communication channels and those of its participating cubs to make it clear that everybody is welcome in football and that every supporter should be able to enjoy their favourite sport without prejudice.”
To learn more about the Football v Homophobia month of action and view all other activities taking place during this month see here.