Yesterday was International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. I spent the day creating a petition entitled Fight Homophobia in Football: Demand The Resignation of Croatian Football Federation President Vlatko Markovic, calling for Markovic's resignation after homophobic comments he made back in November 2010.
"As long as I'm president [of the Croatian football federation] there will be no gay players," Markovic said. And, "Thank goodness only healthy people play football." The comment caused a public outcry, and resulted in two discrimination lawsuits. The first suit was dismissed by a Croatian court a few weeks ago.
The petition specifically calls on the UEFA to demand Markovic's resignation. Here are some details, from the petition:
At the time, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) opened a disciplinary case against Markovic under Article 11 of its Disciplinary Code which obliges it to impose sanctions on any football association if an official “insults the human dignity of a person or group of persons”.
In February of 2011, after a contentious election, both FIFA and the UEFA confirmed Markovic for a fourth term as Federation president.
The UEFA has positioned itself as an organization with a commitment to equality. In 2008, the organization launched the Respect campaign, which “dovetails with programmes aimed at combating violence, racism, xenophobia and homophobia, as well as at nurturing fan support, intercultural dialogue, the environment and humanitarian relief.”
More recently, in mid-February, the UEFA officially endorsed The Justin Campaign, a group dedicated to ending homophobia in football.For more background on the case via my blog, click here.
I'm trying to collect 25,000 signatures, and I could really use your help.
To sign the petition click here
Once you're done, please ask your friends to sign the petition as well. Grassroots movements succeed because people like you are willing to spread the word.