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Thursday, November 17, 2022



As associate members, LGBT+ campaign organisation JUST A BALL GAME? (JBG?) and Bradford City LGBT+ Fan Group  recently joined German and Swiss Queer Football Fan Clubs (QFF) and other activists for a protest outside the Qatar Embassy in Berlin.

Following on from the 2015 Play Fair Qatar campaign set up by the TUC (Trades Union Congress) and delivered across mainland Europe in football by JUST A BALL GAME? many of these activists have joined forces on the days leading up to Qatar hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup to once again shine a spotlight on  the human rights violations by the authorities there. 

In 2010 FIFA’s existing council members granted the Gulf state the hosting of the tournament but they failed massively in not taking on any due diligence around the discrimination against women, laws and penal codes faced by LGBT+ people (which ultimately could see them face imprisonment or execution) , concerns for journalists and press freedoms and no protections against poor working and living conditions for migrants, many brought in under the atrocious Kafala system which is effectively modern day slavery.

A corruption scandal followed by a leadership change in 2016 for the World’s governing body of football saw the introduction of a human rights policy and UN guidance. The end of 2019 saw several reforms to human rights in Qatar forced though by trade union and human rights campaigners from across the globe, but FIFA failed miserably once more by not putting into practise those policies and principals effectively for those working on construction of the stadiums and other infrastructure, and as a result thousand of unexplained (not investigated) deaths have occurred.


As regular national team supporters and campaigners we are yet to see any substance behind proposals on safety and security of any LGBT+ people who may be attending the matches or those Qatari nationals who are continually forced underground and live in constant fear of their lives.

Countless German and Swiss Fan clubs, Ultras and political campaigners have stepped up their peaceful protests during matches and held demonstrations and even art installations to highlight concerns in the more recent years and months leading up to the start of the sports show-piece event. This action has been seen and replicated around the world with the messages strengthened and supported by a number national FA’s competing and players from those teams alike.

The silence from both FIFA and the Qatari Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy on all of these issues is deafening apart from the universal “Football is for All” and “Everyone is Welcome” spouted almost daily. 

At the same time these so called leaders and ambassadors are sending out instructions that local laws need to be obeyed and by being a homosexual you are “damaged in the mind” along with “ please do not allow football  to be dragged into every ideological and political battle that exists.”

Lindsay England - Founder of JUST A BALL GAME? and a GMB Trade Unionist from the UK (who has had bilateral discussions with FIFA’s  head of human rights and anti-discrimination, along with delivery and legacy leaders) joined fellow QFF members and campaigners at the Berlin rally and spoke the following:

 “Together we can claim some small victories with the several changes implemented for the rights of migrant workers in recent years, but we must keep the pressure on… and we must do more.”

“Our LGBT+ siblings in Qatar are not free,

Not free to love and be loved,

Not free to have the courage and self –confidence to share their core identity,

Not free to meet, to shop, to party, to work, to live,

Not free to be educated or too educate,

Not free to enjoy music, the arts, or share our passion of football and other sports which so many around the world take for granted as they reside in a country ruled by an outdated Qatari authoritarian regime.”



Today’s rally exists because homophobia, biphobia and
transphobia exist every day the world over.
Same-sex relationships are criminalized in Qatar, our
campaign organisations, activists and Queer Football Fan
Clubs hope issues can be highlighted while the spotlight is
on the Gulf state for the men’s World Cup, which begins in a
few days time.
Trade Unions, Human Rights organizations and workers
across the world have been united in solidarity in keeping
the pressure on the Qatari state for a number of years and
called for an end to Kafala and all other unacceptable slave
labor practice. They called for acceptable living wages, to
improved working, safety and living conditions for migrants
who have built the tournament structures. And, sadly all too
often for compensation and dignity to families and friends
following confirmation of the countless, needless deaths over
the past decade.
Together we can claim some small victories with the several
changes implemented in recent years, but we must keep the
pressure on… and we must do more.

What was once a working class sport enjoyed by local
communities became a middle class pleasure, owned by
businessmen, then a super rich persons play thing to be
tossed away when they became bored. Now we find that
football in some respects has fallen on its own sword and
lost its meaning and its soul.
The football world’s governing body leaders need to take
their own share of the responsibility for awarding the Qatar
state the privilege of being hosts without firstly ensuring its
own ethics and principles, statutes and codes of conduct in
all areas were met. Frustratingly all too often these people in
power put the safety net of high salaries their own glory and
self esteem before any meaningful substance behind the
platitudes, or the safe guarding of others involved in our
beautiful game from grassroots to professional levels.
Our LGBT+ siblings in Qatar are not free,
not free to love and be loved,
not free to meet, to shop, to party, to work, to live,
not free to be educated or too educate,
not free to enjoy music, the arts, or share our passion of
football and other sports which so many around the world
take for granted as they reside in a country ruled by an
outdated Qatari authoritarian regime.

Despite hate and persecution existing, many LGBT+ people
in 2022 feel they have a voice, they need to be seen and
heard and are proud to take a stand for true equality,
inclusion and diversity of others.
Today’s LGBT+ inclusion and visibility is tomorrow’s
LGBT+ history.

Lindsay England –founder of, JUST A BALL GAME?


Friday, November 11, 2022


JUST A BALL GAME?    MEDIA RELEASE                           





Grassroots LGBT+ campaign organisation JUST A BALL GAME? (JBG?) announce they have presented  ENGLAND LIONESSES with their annual award for LGBT+ inclusion and visibility.

Each year JBG? look to reward good practise from an individual or an organisation who have done their best over the previous 12 months around challenging homophobic, biphobic and transphobic behaviour, alongside enthusiastic LGBT+ inclusion and visibility.

The UEFA 2022 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS were presented the silver salver award at the St George’s Park training camp by JBG? founder Lindsay England and patron Emily Ramsey, who herself is a goalkeeper for the Lionesses u23’s.

England says, “The current Lionesses are busy shaping tomorrow with their perceived intrinsic value and understanding on the drivers of change.”

“Over the past 12-18 months it’s been amazing to see over half of the squads chosen to play be comfortable enough to do so while they are ‘out proud and kicking’ and the support they have from their peers and the football management and backroom staff teams.”



The women’s game has always strived to be unique in its delivery of the sport both on and off the field despite decades of obstacles placed in the way. This summer, those fruits of that labour of love with elite athletes backed by a partisan sell out Wembley Stadium history was made -together.

“What the Lionesses have achieved on the pitch this year was brilliant, but what they have done to inspire a generation is something else. To see all the new fans at women’s games and for young girls to want to play football on the back of this momentous year in sport will make waves for years to come. A truly inspirational team worthy of the award.” -JBG? co-chair Steven Grocock.



Thursday, August 25, 2022






LGBT+ campaign organisation JUST A BALL GAME? (JBG?) are excited to announce that founder Lindsay has been featured in the YOU HEARD US art installations in Bradford. The project created by Luca Rutherford in partnership with Theatre in the Mill and Bradford University, uses images of women who either live, work or who were born/brought up in Bradford, on billboards created from portraits taken by local photographer Nudrat Afza.

“You Heard Us is a public photography project celebrating women taking up public space,” says Rutherford. “When I say women I mean anyone who identifies with woman/womanhood some or all of the time. It has been an absolute joy to work with everyone, and I am so proud of the team.”

All photography is by Nudrat Afza and the graphic design by Sally Poore. The You Heard Us installations have been made possible with support from Theatre in the Mill, Bradford Council, ARC Stockton, Cambridge Junction, The Albany, and Arts Council England.

The portraits have been made in collaboration with Asma, Samia, Dionne, Jenny, Sonia K, Sharena, Sharleen, Lua, Sonia, Surinder, Bal, and Lindsay.

Rutherford continues, “Each one of the women participants has been nominated by local ambassadors who were asked to nominate brilliant women in their area that they felt should be honoured.”

You Heard Us is up around Bradford University campus as of August and will stay in place until early next year (2023).

Recently elected co-chair of JBG? Steven Grocock had this to say, “The beautiful portraits of the women displayed across buildings by Nudrat Afaz show the strength and diversity of the women of Bradford.”

“You Heard Us, does an amazing visual appreciation highlighting the power and strength of those women from the city regardless of colour, religion, sexuality or abilities.”


Lindsay, a lifelong Bradford City fan (the image was taken at Wembley during the playoffs final in 2017) says “It was a little strange being asked permission to have your portrait used on a 3 meter billboard in the city centre, but I’m warming to the idea.” Continuing with, “All of the images showcase women who refuse to stay quiet and act as a reminder not to underestimate us.” “Too often in today’s world, being portrayed as a feminist can be seen as a negative when sadly people think all equalities and equal rights have been won and with this key messages and achievements can be lost. The ‘You Heard Us’ art works showcase dignity and strength to the featured women and bring them into a correct perspective.”

Lindsay’s quote that features along with the photography is:

“Today’s LGBT+ inclusion and visibility is tomorrow’s LGBT+ history.”




Founder-Lindsay England  

Friday, July 08, 2022






Grass roots LGBT+ campaign organisation JUST A BALL GAME? (JBG?) are extremely proud to announce that they are hosting an LGBT+ HUB on match days in Leigh - Greater Manchester during the 2022 Euros

Believed to be the first ever LGBT+ hub at a women’s UEFA EUROS tournament finals in a host town or city, the hub will feature some of JBG?’s ‘TIME FOR ACTION’ exhibition panels alongside a stand of resources were fans attending games can mix with the general public and come along to the to find out more about LGBT+ inclusion in football. CASTRO, the LGBT+ Sports Mascot will also be in attendance and there will be spot prizes handed out to ticket holders engaging the hub during the event days.

The hub is hosted in partnership with GMB Trade Union and has been supported by Wigan Council.

Chair of GMB Union National Equality Forum and a full time rep for Wigan Council, David Hope says, “I welcome Just A Ball Game? to Leigh for the Women’s Euros 2022 Football Finals.”

“GMB as one of JBG? 's sponsors and partners think it’s fantastic to host the first ever LGBT+ Hub for a women's tournament here in Leigh adding to the town’s existing fan event programme on the match days.”

“Thanks to Just A Ball Game? & GMB Union, and a special thanks to Wigan Council for making this happen."

The hub will be situated just short distance from the fan park in Leigh Market/Spinning Gate Shopping centre, for anyone arriving into Leigh bus station it’s a 100 yards walk.





Contact for further information: 07788474754.

Founder-Lindsay England