Welsh football will come out in support of Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign later this month.
The campaign aims to make sport everyone’s game by creating an environment that’s inclusive for LGBT fans and players.
Every year Stonewall ask sports organisations to help raise awareness of anti-LGBT abuse, by asking clubs to show their support for the LGBT community. Research carried out last year found that 72% of football fans have heard anti-LGBT remarks at games over the last five years.
The Football Association of Wales (FAW), JD Welsh Premier League (WPL) and Orchard Welsh Premier Women’s League (WPWL) will all be supporting the campaign, which runs from 24th November to 3rd December.
The FAW will be promoting the campaign ahead of and during Wales’ Women’s World Cup qualifier at home to Kazakhstan on Friday 24th November at the Cardiff City Stadium. Jayne Ludlow’s squad will wear rainbow laces during the game and promotional messages will be included in the match programme and around the stadium.
The WPL will be supporting the campaign during MD15 over the weekend of 24th-26th November. The WPWL will be supporting the campaign during their League Cup quarter-finals on the 3rd December, and on a couple of league fixtures scheduled for the campaign week, including a top of the table clash between Swansea City and Cardiff Met on Sunday 26th. Clubs in both leagues and below are also being encouraged to show their support for the campaign throughout the action week.
Jonathan Ford, chief executive of the FAW, said, “We are delighted to be joining forces with Stonewall Cymru on this year’s Rainbow Laces campaign.
“Sport brings us together. We celebrate together, we commiserate together. As Wales’ most popular sport, football has the power to bring people together like no other game, and our game is for everyone. That is why we are backing the campaign.
“There is no place for discrimination anywhere in sport and we hope that our support for Rainbow Laces will firmly reiterate that message.”
Andrew White, director of Stonewall Cymru, said: ‘So many people make sport happen, not just the players or the managers – it’s everyone who attends a match, everyone who cheers on their team.
“To truly make sport everyone’s game, everyone needs to be involved and we’re thrilled to see Welsh football step up and show their support. Leadership like this makes it easier for others to stand up, speak out and be a proud ally to lesbian, gay, bi and trans people.”