Saturday, 27 November 2010

It's not just for men

Homophobia in sport is something which affects the whole of the LGBT community.

One of the most frequently asked questions to the Justin Campaign is if we represent the lesbian, bisexual and trans community.

Our view is simple: This is not just about campaigning for one group in society, it is about making football more accessible to everyone.

This is because bigotry and discrimination is apparent at all levels and across the world.

Just take a look at this example.

Augustine Makalakalane, the coach of the South African women's football team, is the subject of claims that he sexually assaulted two of his players.

Several members of the team, which clearly does not respect the man leading them, also claim the 46-year-old said he only wanted “straight ladies in his team”.

The reasons behind these allegations will no doubt come out in due course as the officials investigate.

Following the comments of Croatian FA boss Markovic, once again we are seeing a nation which has relied on sport to give it a sense of independence fail itself on equality grounds.

In a country still recovering from the apartheid regime, football in South Africa has been a uniting movement culminating successfully in this summer's World Cup.

Many of the officials heading the game have witnessed discrimination first hand, which is why it is so shocking to hear such claims coming from members of the women's national team.

If it turns out that these allegations are true then we hope the South African FA take the right steps and remove Makalakalane from his post and, if the crimes are bad enough, ban him from the game.

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