The German football fans network “Fußballfans gegen Homophobie” (“Football fans against homophobia”) launched an anti-homophobia campaign that will tour European countries, such as Croatia and Greece, over the next months while sharing their know-how and promoting the inclusive values of the sport.
The campaign that started in June 2011, in Berlin, has been touring around football grounds in Germany as well as in some grounds in Switzerland and Austria, is constituted of a large purple banner with the inscription “Football fans against homophobia”, making a clear stand against that discriminatory behaviour.
The announcement that the campaign would cross new borders came on 19 April during the Croatian match between NK Zagrebs and NK Zadar, in which was also reinforced the support of the German organisation to the “Bijeli Andeli” (“White Angels”), a fan group of NK Zagreb, the only one with an explicit anti-discriminatory agenda in the country.
After the Croatian capital the campaign will head to Greece and work along the amateur team Proodeutiki Toumpas.
“We are overwhelmed by being asked by White Angels to come along. It was perfectly clear for us that we had to support them.”, said Martin Endemann spokesman of the campaign.
With the help of Football Supporters Europe (FSE) through their Pro Supporters Project, White Angels also organised on the eve of the game a conference to formally introduce the campaign.
The German network that is comprised of members from 40 different clubs, started as an initiative to tackle homophobia in football during the 2011 FARE Action Weeks carried out by the fans of the football club Tennis Borussia Berlin along with the project “SOCCER SOUND” of the lesbian and gay association Berlin-Brandenburg.
Other actions nationwide
The Alerta Network, an international antifascist and antiracist movement of football fans, has also been campaigning against homophobia in football as part of their Action Days in different German cities.
In Hamburg, the fans of St. Pauli preformed a choreographed display of rainbow colored placards and a banner reading “Love Whoever You Want — Fight Homophobia” during a football match. In other parts of the stadium, banners and balloons saying “Football Fans Against Homophobia” and “It’s OK to Be Gay” were showed. In Babelsberg, the Alerta Action Day was also marked by a choreographed display of anti-homophobic banner reading “All you need is love”.
Moreover, the German Football Association (DFB) has announced new measures to tackle homophobia in the domestic football through a guide with procedures on how clubs can help gay footballers to come out in an inclusive and respectful environment.