February 22nd, 2012

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Football's new hate shame as top clubs snub drive on homophobia


Ministers furious over alleged failure by Premier League big guns to tackle sport's last taboo

England's biggest and most lucrative football clubs came under fire from the Government and equality campaigners this weekend for dragging their feet over plans to stamp out homophobia in the professional game. Ministers are privately furious at the “mealy-mouthed excuses” of Premier League teams when asked if their grounds could be used as the backdrop for the launch of a high-profile campaign against homophobia in sport.

As the annual international Football v Homophobia campaign begins this weekend, campaigners also voiced their dismay that only 16 of the 160 clubs in seven English divisions responded positively to a call to arms to tackle sport's last taboo. The campaign wrote to every professional English club asking them to get involved. The letters suggested a number of ways in which clubs, players and coaching staff could raise the profile of the issue – from mentioning it on Twitter to promotions in match-day programmes or PA announcements. Only six Premier League clubs agreed actively to help.


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