'Great step forward' as the Football Association of Wales becomes Stonewall Cymru Diversity Champion
The Football Association of Wales has joined the fight against homophobia in the sport by signing up to a gay equality program.
The FAW has joined 100 other organizations which are ‘Diversity Champions’ for gay rights charity Stonewall Cymru.
Stonewall called the football group’s move to promote LGBT equality in the workplace a ‘great step forward’.
‘Our research has shown that homophobia is a real issue in football,’ said Andrew White, director of Stonewall Cymru.
‘This is a great step forward and signals the kind of leadership we hope to see more of in Welsh sport.’
‘We look forward to working with the FAW on tackling homophobia and making the “great game” one that celebrates diversity of its fans and players.’
Jonathan Ford, FAW chief executive, said they are ‘delighted’ to part of the Diversity Champions project.
He said: ‘At the Football Association of Wales, we seek to promote an environment in which all individuals, regardless of background, are offered a level platform on which to fulfil potential.
‘Through a positive strategy of education, we are confident of continued progress.’
The UK has seen several high profile footballers charged and fined for homophobia, including Manchester United striker Federico Macheda and West Ham’s Ravel Morrison.
The Football Association launched a new initiative to tackle homophobia among both players and fans in February, 2012.
And Premier League football clubs in the UK have signed-up to the government's Charter Against Homophobia and Transphobia, pledging their commitment to tackling abuse of LGBT people both on and off the pitch.