York City FC is giving out dozens of free tickets to LGBTI fans to fight against homophobia in the soccer.
The northern English city club is giving out 100 tickets for their second Football v Homophobia match on 14 February as part of the Month of Action.
Lou Englefield, director of Pride Sports, said York City FC’s initiative to tackle homophobia and welcome LGBTI people into their club had been fantastic.
He said: ‘They have raised the profile of football within the LGBT community and shown their city that everyone has a place in the game.’
York City join a number of other teams, including Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea, and will use the match against Tranmere Rovers to send out the message that football is a sport for everyone, regardless of sexuality, and there is no room for discrimination.
Sophie McGill, York City communications and community director, said: ‘We are once again proud to support the national Football v Homophobia campaign and are committed to tackling discrimination of all forms at York City Football Club.
‘We are actively promoting the message to our supporters that football is for everyone.’
Greg Stephenson, chair of York Pride, said the charity was delighted with the ‘commitment here at our local club, with the players and backroom staff all keen to show that prejudice about someone’s sexuality is just as irrelevant and unwelcome in football as it in every other aspect of our lives.’
The Minstermen will warm up in Football v Homophobia t-shirts while rainbow flags will be presented on the pitch before kick-off by the ball boys and girls.
Before the match and at half-time there will be anti-homophobia PA announcements and the match programme will also feature articles promoting Football v Homophobia and York Pride.
McGill added: ‘Hopefully our continued efforts to address homophobia in football will make a positive difference in York and will lead to more acceptance of gay players and supporters.’