Thomas Hitzlsperger joins Fare panel discussion to address homophobia in football01 June 2015

FormerGermanyinternationalThomasHitzlspergerwilljoingrassrootsgroups,clubsandfootballgoverningbodies,includingtheFootballAssociationofBelgiumandUEFA,toaddressand makeapublicstandagainsthomophobiainfootballataFarepaneldiscussiononFriday5JuneinBerlin.

The „Taten statt Worte. Homophobie im Fußball nachhaltig bekämpfen aber wie?“ event (in English ‘Actions Speak Louder than Words’) seeks to highlight the problems faced by homosexual people in football and explore what clubs, governing bodies and supporters organisations can do to combat prejudice and promote an open approach to homosexuality.

The event will take place on the eve of the UEFA Champions League Final in Berlin and will look at the need to give drive to activities to pro-actively tackle discrimination against gays and lesbians on the pitch, in the stands and in administration.

Ahead of the event, Thomas Hitzlsperger welcomed the initiative and said: “I’m looking forward to the panel discussion and hope for practical approaches how clubs, players and administrators can recognise and confront homophobia. It must become even clearer that football is for everyone.”

Claudia Krobitzsch, Programmes Coordinator of the Fare network explained: “Throughout Europe we can see that football clubs and associations often stand by helpless in the face of homophobic exclusion. They lack ideas to combat homophobia or are just indifferent. We look forward to an interesting evening; hope to drive the public debate and to encourage fans and institutions alike to take action.”

Other event panellists include Patrick Gasser, Senior CSR Manager UEFA, Ann de Kock, project coordinator LGBT Action Plan Foundation of the Belgian FA, Anne-Kathrin Laufmann, Director CSR, Werder Bremen, Tanja Walther-Ahrens, ex Bundesliga player, Claudia Krobitzsch, Fare network programmes Co-ordinator, Discover Football delegate Pia man and Martin Endemann of Fußballfans gegen Homophobie. The session will be moderated by Nicole Selmer, of the football magazine “ballesterer“.

The event is supported by the fan initiative Fußballfans gegen Homophobie, the Lesbian and Gay Association of Berlin-Brandenburg (LSVD), trade union Ver.di and Berliner Fenster. It takes place on the eve of both the UEFA Champions League final and the Berlin Respect Gaymes during the Berlin Sports Week (May 30 to June 6).

The event wil take place on June 5 2015, 6.30pm; Ver.di headquarters, Paula-Thiede-Ufer 10, 10179 Berlin. Admission is free but participants are advised to register beforehand here.

Homophobie im Fußball nachhaltig bekämpfen, aber wie? Ein Diskussionsabend