From 05 – 09 October 2016, football fans will host an international conference on homophobia in football

The much-discussed coming out of an active professional footballer is still pending. Fans are often seen as the main problem in this process. But other football fans, ones that stand up against homophobia and engage for an open football culture, they exist too.

Against this background, Football Fans Against Homophobia (FFAH), Queer Football Fanclubs (QFF) and Football Supporters Europe (FSE), together with the Federation of Gays and Lesbians in Berlin-Brandenburg (LSVD) are for the first time hosting “Football Pride Week“, a multi-day international football conference on homophobia in football, taking place from 05 – 09. October 2016 in Berlin. FFAH will also celebrate its 5th anniversary with the event.

The different workshops are set to develop strategies and options for action against homophobia in the football environment. Apart from broad, international exchange among supporters’ representatives from fan groups from more than 20 countries who have registered for the event, the organisers are also looking for an exchange with clubs and football associations. This is why all clubs from the 1st Bundesliga to the 4th Division, as well as all regional football associations in Germany, have been explicitly invited to join the event, too.

Key themes of Football Pride Week are how football fans can further engage against homophobia in football, and what possibilities there are for the support of clubs and football associations with regards to the work of fans against discrimination in Germany. In the international part on 7 and 8 October, fans from different continents and representatives of UEFA will discuss the upcoming World Cups in Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022.

Football Pride Week will be opened at the National Headquarters of ver.di by Björn Fecker, board member of the German Football Association DFB, and Stefan Kiefer, Chairman of the Bundesliga Foundation. Further parts of the programme include a reception at the City Hall in Schöneberg and a Farewell Party at SchwuZ, where Jurassica Parka awaits participants to its legendary party POPKICKER.

On 10 October 2016, just after the end of the Pride Week, at the international match between Germany and Northern Ireland, the initiative Football Fans Against Homophobia will receive the 2nd place in the Julius Hirsch Award of the German Football Association DFB.

Football Pride Week is supported by ver.di, the Coordinating Centre of Fan Projects at the German Sports Youth (KOS), the PFiFF Funding Programme of the German Football League, the “Queering Football“ Project of the Erasmus+ Programme of the EU as well as from the Federal Centre for Equality Against Discrimination Berlin.

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