TheSpanish National SportsCouncil(CSD)haveagreedtofurthertheeffortsofcampaignersandNGOsinpromotingLGBTvisibilityinsportsandtacklehomophobia,duringameetingledbytheFarememberCOLEGAS.
The meeting with the Spanish government organisation comes after a year in which a series incidents of homophobia were reported in professional and amateur football, leading to successive calls for action from LGBT rights organisations to football authorities and the CSD.
On the day, Paco Ramírez, President of COLEGAS and Director of the Spanish Observatory against LGBT-phobia, said the reaction of CSD’s Anti-Violence Commission to reports sent in April 2016 (on the homophobic abuse of Cristiano Ronaldo) and in May (on the homophobic slurs made by Daniel Carriço) “had been a total disgrace”.
“It took the Commission months to send us a single email and when they did they said they could not find any irregularities, that they were not able to identify the perpetrators and that the police did not report any incident” explained Ramírez.
“We find it hard to understand, besides being unfair of course, how racist and homophobic incidents are treated differently by sports courts and society in general” highlighted the COLEGAS Secretary José Pérez Pargas.
The representatives of both organisations also raised concerns over the lack of information on reporting processes for incidents of homophobia on CSD’s website, the disregard of homophobia as form of discrimination under the Commission’s law and the barriers to the participation and acceptance of LGBT athletes in Spanish sport.
“What is not seen, is not visible, doesn’t exist, and if it doesn’t exist it can’t be reported. We want the word homophobia to be visible, this is first step to fight it,” said Ramírez.
José Ramón Lete, who is since November 2016 the President of CSD, stressed his commitment to address the problem. Lete also promised swift change on the way homophobia is addressed by and mentioned in Spanish law.
The meeting comes a few weeks before the international Football v Homophobia campaign, which will take place across Europe in February.