EGLSF to support prosecution of French club for homophobia15 September 2010

The European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation gave its backing today to football & anti-homophobia organisation, Paris Foot Gay, in its referral of amateur football club FC CHOOZ to the French Football Federation’s National Committee of Ethics.

Paris Foot Gay, in association with French campaign organisation, SOS Homophobie, is taking this action following a decision by the President of FC CHOOZ, Frederic Coquet, not to reinstate football player, Yoann Lemaire, at the end of August 2010, for the new football season.

Lemaire took a sabbatical from the club in 2009 following homophobic comments made on camera by one of his team mates. He had been playing at the club for 14 years prior to this.

In June this year, the Regional League of Footbal Champagne-Ardennes hosted a meeting of all parties to ensure Lemaire’s reinstatement to the club. However, the club has effected a spectacular u-turn since then and now refuses to readmit Lemaire.

Ironically FC CHOOZ and the City’s Mayor signed the ‘Charter against Homophobia in Football’ launched by Paris Foot Gay in 2007.

Co-President of EGLSF, Louise Englefield comments:
I know our members throughout Europe will want to support Paris Foot Gay in their actions to call FC CHOOZ to account. The failure of this club to deal with homophobia and to make their club safe for all players is an issue of concern for all of us and in particular for the sport of football. We are delighted that Paris Foot Gay is being supported in their action by President of the French Football Professional League, Frederic Thieriez. Whilst homophobia still pervades football in many countries, it is hugely encouraging to see those at the head of footballing authorities give their backing to campaigns for equality & inclusion.