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Sunday, March 15, 2015

JBG? Ladies qualify for FA Futsal Cup Finals


                                             JBG? Ladies qualify for FA Futsal Cup Finals

After a marathon 20+ week league season JBG? Ladies Futsal Team secured a place in the FA North Semi Finals of the Futsal Cup. The team were placed in Group B alongside Liverpool Futsal Ladies, Middlesbrough Ladies FC and Loughborough and finished as group winners and now progress to the FA Futsal Cup Finals which will be played in London in June at the iconic Copper Box Arena home to many of GB's Olympians in 2012.






The JBG? Ladies narrowly lost their first game 2-3 to Liverpool Futsal Ladies and were disappointed that this was due to a refereeing technicality, the JBG? team dominated possession throughout with Chantelle Parry scoring a brace.
Next up were Loughborough who had hit 5 in their opening game. Once again JBG? controlled the game, this time team manager Steph Ashton-Smith popping up with a fine hat trick and Ali Hindley adding a forth. The Loughborough team worked hard with a 2v 1 upfront to close down the scoreline but JBG? earned 3 points with in the end a comfortable 4-2 win.

So, with all 4 teams on 3 points each there was a big 'cup final' to be played out in the last game between FA WPL team Middlesborough Ladies FC and JBG? with a win needed to progress.
The 'Boro Ladies started strongly and raced into 3-1 lead at half time. It was the JBG? indiscipline letting them down with them being reduced to 4 players when Ali Hindley was ordered from the field of play after receiving 2 yellow cards in quick succession. The JBG? Ladies dug in and forced the score back level to 3-3 with just a further 4 minutes left on the clock. As the team were about to call a time-out keeper Leanne Ashton-Smith made a fantastic double save but in doing so was knocked unconscious and play was help up for several minutes while treatment was given. Ashton-Smith was deemed fine to continue and the game was restarted.
The JBG? Ladies pushed forward at every opportunity and brushed the woodwork on no less than 3 occasions. Then with just 1m 49 seconds left on the clock, the pressure was rewarded and defender Melissa Cook found inspiration and in turn the back of the net to make the final score 4-3 and JBG? Ladies were had booked their place in the  FA Futsal Cup Finals 2015.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Media story from our new partner club PNE Women.





PNE Ladies strike up just a ball game? partnership



JBG? Founder Lindsay England with PNE manager Luke Podmore after establishing the link-up.
Preston North End Women are delighted to be able to confirm a partnership with Just A Ball Game? ahead of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History month, next month.

The partnership will see the club become an official club partner with the organisation, who were set up to challenge homophobia in sport.

JBG have kindly presented the club with a range of their merchandise which will now be displayed at our home games with the team wearing JBG t-shirts in the warm up.

The partnership comes just days before LGBT History month, which is held every February in the UK. It first started in America, with them holding it in October every year, and over time has become more and more popular within the UK. LGBT History month is a chance to celebrate people in the past, people in the present and the future who have been LGBT.

PNE Manager Luke Podmore was one of the first people at the club to be involved with the organisation of the partnership and thinks it’s another great campaign to be associated with.

“It’s a great organisation to be involved with. Like I’ve said in the past when we’ve worked with Stonewall, football is a great carrier of messages and it’s great that we can now help them reach out to people and raise awareness of what they do.”

“Alongside us there are a few other clubs at a similar level to us that are involved with Just A Ball Game? With us being higher up the footballing pyramid, we are able to reach quite a wide audience and I think teams like us have a responsibility of passing these messages on to combat homophobia in sport. Hopefully more clubs will now follow suit and promote the good work the organisation is doing.”

PNE players Chelsea Flanagan (l) and Nikki Emery (r) with Lindsay England after the partnership was confirmed.
Lindsay England, the founder of Just A Ball Game?, believes that the partnership will already help build an ever growing list of club’s supporting the campaign.

“It’s very encouraging for another women’s side to come on board and join forces with us. It’s great that we’ve got a campaign out there that is challenging homophobia in sport and, at the same time, raise awareness about LGBT issues. The more teams that come on board, the merrier and we need to build on what we call a gay/straight alliance. It doesn’t matter to us if anybody that supports our campaign identifies themselves as LGBT or whether they identify themselves as being straight, the more people on board supporting us, the better.”

“It’s very important to us that clubs high up in the pyramid support the campaign because we all need those role models, especially in the women’s game as it’s very hard to break through in what is such a male dominated sport like football. Birmingham City are the only team in the Women’s Super League to support us and we need those role models higher up supporting what we do because it shows that people are respected in the game. Lianne Sanderson and Casey Stoney are two of the stars at international level that have  come out, along with our patron Andie Worrall, and it shows they’re not afraid of showing who they are and are also great role models for young LGBT that might be a bit shy in telling their friends or their parents. It gives them someone to look up at and aim to be like and say ‘look these people are in that environment and they are happy’ and ultimately it should lead them to become a better player or better all-round person.”

For more information about what Just A Ball Game? do, visit their website - http://www.justaballgame.co.uk/



TUC launch toolkit for unions to tackle homophobia in football- with JBG?



 

TUC launches toolkit for unions to tackle homophobia in football


A toolkit designed to stamp out homophobia in football is being launched today (Wednesday) by the TUC as part of a concerted action by unions and their allies.
The toolkit is to help unions challenge the prejudice faced by many LGBT people in football and wider sport. It was written and designed by members of the TUC alliance against homophobia and transphobia in football in association with The Professional Footballers Association (PFA), the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and Just a Ball Game? – a campaign which challenges homophobia and promotes LGBT participation in sport.
The toolkit includes practical ideas and advice for union members on how they can best tackle homophobia at club level and what kind of resources they may need.
The toolkit will be launched at the TUC’s headquarters by Frances O’Grady, the TUC General Secretary, with members of the alliance including Gordon Taylor from the PFA, Maria Exall, chair of the TUC LGBT committee, and Lindsay England from Just a Ball Game? The launch is also being supported by Stonewall, the Gay Football Supporters’ Federation and the Inclusion Adviser at the Football Association.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:





”Unions are continuing to do outstanding work promoting equality at work and in society in general. This toolkit will help them reinforce the message that there is absolutely no place for homophobia in football or indeed any kind of sport.
“Union activists have used this approach at a number of professional clubs in the past and we want to build on those successes.”
The event will take place at 1pm at TUC headquarters, Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS.


- The TUC alliance toolkit Tackling Homophobia in Football can be found at http://www.tuc.org.uk/equality-issues/lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgender-rights/tackling-homophobia-football
- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
 
 http://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/TacklingHomophobiaToolkit.pdf



Thursday, January 01, 2015

Sunday, December 07, 2014

ARE LESBIAN NIGERIAN FOOTBALLERS SILENCED BY LAW TO ALLOW THEM TO COMPETE AT 2015 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP?










ArE Lesbian Nigerian footballers silenced by law to allow them to compete at 2015 Women’s world Cup?



Is it time for FIFA to stand up and be counted and insist on fairy play and ethics for all at the Women’s World Cup to be held in Canada 2015?

Last night (07.12.14) saw millions of people the world over watch the draw for the group games of the WWC 2015 and Nigeria will face USA, Australia and Sweden in group D. The Canadians also held the Women’s U20’s World Cup earlier this year and saw Germany beat Nigeria 1-0 in the final, but the silence from FIFA was defining on allowing the Super Falcon’s side to compete at all despite FIFA in 2013 stating they would investigate fully should a ruling be brought in around forbiddance of their players to be openly homosexual with the expected signing of the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition Bill) into Nigerian law. 

The introduction of this law also means that Nigeria’s players who engage in nothing more than conversation, share a visit to watch a game or who participate with in duties alongside fellow competitors in the Women’s World Cup (many of whom are publically open about their sexual orientation) or engage with fans who are from an LGBT community will be breaking the said law.

Part of the Act reads: “A person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organizations; directly or indirectly makes public show of same sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of 10 years imprisonment, and anyone convicted of entering into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union faces up to 14 years imprisonment.”
That law came into effect dated 7th January 2014 when it was signed by Nigeria’s President -Goodluck Jonathan.

Around four years ago news began to break that a coach of Nigeria’s International Women’s Football had sacked lesbian players from the team. A few months later this news was confirmed when Super Falcons coach, Eucharia Uche stirred the hornets’ nest when she made a remark regarding her position on ‘lesbianism’ during the lead up to the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“Yes, the lesbians in our team were really a big problem,” she said. “But since I am coach of the Super Falcons, that has been cleared up. There are no more lesbians on my team; I cannot tolerate this dirty life.” 

For her bluntness, she drew the ire of FIFA and a number of international gay groups. She was cautioned by the world football governing body, which through its head of Women’s competition, Tatjana Haenni said, “FIFA is against all forms of discrimination”.

The Nigeria Football Federation NFF in 2013 denied  that Uche had stated any of this and also commented that they had  not been under any FIFA probe or query.
The NFF’s Chief Media Officer, Ademola Olajire, was also quoted to have said.
“We all know of these vices, because lesbianism has become a thing of common knowledge that the female footballers no more hide it among themselves. However, those who indulge in the nasty act had promised to stop it and the NFF is putting measures in place to ensure that they keep to their promises.”










One former Nigerian football player, Chichi Igbo who is openly lesbian and not ashamed of her sexual orientation who now plays in Denmark says “I know how different I am. I love me just the way I am with all my imperfections and flaws and I owe nobody any explanation and won’t apologise for who I am.” Unfortunately none of her LGBT colleagues based in Nigeria are able to do the same and speak out.


Former National Athletics coach, Amelia Edet and Football coach, Joy Etim have been unanimous in their support for the bill.
“I think the President is doing the right thing because it (homosexuality) is something that is so common. It’s an old thing that has always been, even in sports; but it is not something that should be accepted. It is a welcome development and it is left for us as Nigerians to say that we are supporting the decision that he is taking,” Edet said.

Etim agreed. “It (homosexuality) should be criminalized. We want people to know that it is not good for sports men and women because if not tackled on time, it will become as widespread as cultism in Nigerian higher institutions”, she said.
Coach Edet agrees that a high number of female athletes engage in lesbianism, going by her years of experience with the Falcons and female track and field athletes.
“I had a problem when I was with the first set of our female footballers because some of them happened to be lesbians.” 

Football coach, Etim agreed that the trend is widespread in sports. She however voiced fears at the early age some players now get involved in the act. “They need to be lectured about what lesbianism is and to be told that it is bad. It is rampant”, she said.
“I happened to interview some girls who came from outside Lagos and these girls were from a village and I had to tell them what it means and the repercussions that follow. Some of them are as young as 13 years. If you want to know them, they look and walk like boys, and even call themselves ‘Fine boys’ and you will know who plays the role of the male and the role of the female.”
Etim said, “I played football during the mid-eighties to early nineties and it wasn’t common during our time. But now it is too much. When I served as a coach with the national team, I heard there were a lot of them in the team but I was more focused on the technical aspect of the job.
“It is likely that it was going on but because they were big girls, they wouldn’t do it where I will see them.  Some of them would even go as far as paying for hotels outside the camp so there was little anyone could do.

Dilichukwu Onyedinma, was appointed by the NFF in October (2014) as deputy head of Fair play and Ethics, and is the person who caused international controversy with her campaign to drive lesbians out of Nigerian football a year ago when she stated: “Yeah, we don’t tolerate lesbianism and we always discuss it whenever we meet. We always warn clubs and club chairmen, to please tell their players to desist from it, because any player that we pick for national competitions, and we hear a little story that is involved in that, we disqualify the player.” 

As of yet nothing has been explained as to how Onyedinma’s views and discriminatory actions can be reconciled with her duties as deputy head of the NFF Committee of Ethics and Fair Play and Article Three of the FIFA Statutes which aim to abolish all forms of discrimination in football.
FIFA : “Discrimination of any kind against a Country, private person or group of people on account of race, skin colour, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, language, religion, political opinion or any other opinion, wealth, birth or any other status, sexual orientation or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.”

Is it not now time for FIFA to take a zero tolerance towards member countries and their employees who are seen to be discriminatory on many occasions and bring in sanctions against these people and ultimately the country FA’s and ban them from competing on the world’s greatest stage in football of a World Cup Finals?