JUST A BALL GAME? MEDIA RELEASE- For immediate release.
FARE ASKED TO CHALLENGE UEFA TO ACT ON HOMOPHOBIA.
As a member of FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe) the UK based, LGBT voluntary group JUST A BALL GAME? (JBG?) calls on the anti-racism organisation to take a stand against UEFA and demand answers from them as to why they have been reluctant in the past 12 months to even begin an investigation around the gay slur comments of “ y esos maricones” (those faggotts) which Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho made to a referee prior to his team’s Champions League match in Moscow in February last year.
The European football competition organisers UEFA have (and quite rightly so) taken action immediately on a number of occasions in recent years around any allegations of Racism, but unfortunately they have refused to act at all around a high profile manager who was clearly caught on camera using homophobic language.
JBG? are aware that both FARE and LGBT sports organisation EGLSF (European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation) are working in partnership at times with UEFA, in the case of FARE they have received “considerable financial support in recent years” from UEFA, and both groups are “partners of the UEFA football and social responsibility portfolio, an action party funded by the European Commission (DG Justice)” and there may be a reluctance for both to shy away from putting any pressure on UEFA, but we believe that as 2 of the big players in sports fight against discrimination FARE and EGLSF need to apply pressure those in authority at UEFA.
Remind them of their own 5-point action plan against homophobia which formed pages of the UEFA 2006 Guide for Clubs, produced as part of the 2nd Unite Against Racism Conference in Barcelona, and of their obligation to an LGBT community, also that UEFA have a duty to take any form of homophobia seriously.
Founder of JBG?- Lindsay England, stated, ” I was extremely disappointed that when the comments from Mr Mourinho were given out no investigation was ever made by UEFA, likewise FARE were not seen to take any action or question UEFA about the situation which a is particularly sad silence from all.“
UEFA were contacted by JBG? and French counter parts Paris Foot Gay who wrote an open letter to UEFA, but rather than inform of any procedure they may follow UEFA replied, “ We have priorities and this is not one.”
Contact for further information:
Founder -Lindsay England