Exeter City to be recognised with award for continued commitment to fighting homophobia in football
Exeter City will be presented with an award at half-time during Saturday 18th February home game against Stevenage for their continued fight against homophobia in football.
The game has been designated the club’s annual “Football v Homophobia” fixture and a number of initiatives to mark the day have been organised by City’s Supporters’ Trust, its One Game One Community (OGOC) Group and the club’s Football in the Community charity.
It is the eighth time that City have designated a game to fight homophobia, and this long-term commitment will be recognised with an award in the form of a commemorative pennant, presented by Lou Englefield, director of the National Football v Homophobia campaign.
Englefield said: “We are delighted to be acknowledging the club’s annual support and for their year-round work to make sure football is welcoming for all.” Players from both City and Stevenage will warm up in Football v Homophobia t-shirts, which will be thrown into the crowd before the start of the game, and players will also walk out pre-match behind a Football v Homophobia banner.
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Star City player Ollie Watkins, an OGOC ambassador, has backed the initiative.
He said: “Homophobia, like all discrimination, has no place in football.
“It’s time to call full-time on hate.”
Guests from Devon Lions, the local gay-friendly football club, will be in attendance at the game, as will members of Exeter Pride and the University of Exeter’s LBGTQ+ society.
Also supporting the campaign will be the Exeter City ladies team at their game on Sunday, with the club’s Ability Counts disability groups backing the message at a tournament.
There are also plans in place to set up an Exeter City LGBT fans’ group, with the point of contact being Alan Quick – a Trust and OGOC member, who co-founded Exeter Pride and is the South West co-ordinator for Football v Homophobia.
“Exeter City has a great record on opposing homophobia so with more and more clubs having LGBT fans groups we are going to try and launch one here,” said Alan.
He can be contacted via email@example.com, or via the reception at St James’s Park.
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