Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Former Chelsea player: "Homophobia needs to be challenged in the same way racism has been"

Those readers of the blog will have noticed an absence of posts recently - apologies.

During the brief hiatus, there has been some really positive comments from people who can inspire real change in the game we all love.

One of them is Paul Elliott, a former Chelsea and Celtic defender, who has since been awarded an MBE for his work as an ambassador against racism in the game.

In a recent interview  for the Fifa website, Elliot was asked what did he see as the next challenge in football in fighting discrimination.

His response is worth printing in full.

"Homophobia is a big one. That needs to be challenged in the same way racism has been. And there’s still what I would call institutional discrimination in football. We’re actually running a campaign at the moment called ‘Fair Share’, which is aimed at getting better representation for women and minorities in boardrooms, committees, councils and in coaching itself.

"What we’re talking about here is equality of opportunities. That’s a huge challenge for us, and I’m excited by the prospect of taking it on."

Elliott has a long history of championing equality in the game. To be blunt, he knows the right people and has the right attitude and manner to bring about real change. His working in stamping out racism in the game has been fantastic and much admired.

The fact he is turning his eye to homophobia is a positive sign for all. Fifa know that this must be tackled head on and by getting people like Elliott involved is a sign the world's organisation is going to take this seriously.

Let's hope these positive messages as it is only through support at all tiers of the game that  the change and equality we all strive for can be achieved.

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