On Friday 26th and Sunday 28th February 2021, Tomorrow Women in Sports Foundation will proudly take part in the Football v Homophobia month of action which exists to challenge discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression at all levels in football.
Sports has a greater social value and football has greatly expanded access; however, many LGBTQI+ athletes drop out due to discrimination, hate and stereo types which makes it hard for them to pursue sports as a career and it remains a distant dream for most.
According to the research Tomorrow Women in Sports Foundation (TWISF) conducted in the “one voice against homophobia in football” workshop during the football people weeks last year, we found out that sports is not no safe space for LGBTQI+ persons thus hindering them from pursuing football as a career or taking on sports leadership positions and they do not feel comfortable to speak about their sexuality because of the stigma that surrounds the intolerable homophobic fan base and a very homophobic football system.
The Research also showed that stigma, negative chants, bias, myths, and misunderstanding contribute to the belief that LGBTQI+ persons are marginalised in society. All interviewees indicated that LGBTQI+ persons in sports experience multiple instances of discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation which is deeply rooted by patriarchal societal norms.
Tomorrow Women In Sports Foundation (TWISF) in partnership with Fare network and Football vs Homophobia are working to ensure that football is free from discrimination based on gender by conducting a dialogue and matches to review the FIFA good practice guide/human rights in football and how best we can transform fan bases into more welcoming, diverse, and inclusive atmospheres for all stake holders irrespective of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Playing awareness matches to ensure that the gap between LGBTQI+ footballers and their fans is covered, start up an LGBTQI+ fan base that will be ambassadors of football vs homophobia campaign throughout the Ugandan sports community.
“It is essential that steps are taken to understand what barriers stand in the way of LGBTQI+ footballers, and how much of the responsibility lies with clubs and how much with fans, throughout the event and after. We both envision for discriminative free sport and one of our major strategies is to condemn homophobic chanting on and off the fields of play.
The aim of the “SAY NO TO HOMOPHOBIC CHANTS” campaign is to educate, empower and raise awareness about the dangers of homophobic chants to the development of the game of football and its effect on individual players, team, and the nation on both the local and international scenes. We aim to create space to overcome the ideology that football and sports in general is for the chosen few but not for all. TWISF aims at overcoming exclusion or a perception of exclusion, to engage club administrators, fans, non LGBTQI+ athletes to treat others with respect and fair play by the use of the gender-neutral language, and following the FIFA good practice guide on diversity, inclusion and discrimination in football.
We believe that the only difference one should have from the other in the world of Football and sports in general is the color of your jersey, your team, home ground and the love for your team
We understand the euphoria football can bring the passion of being part of a community; shared experiences, the highs, and the lows, all ‘in it’ together. We believe no one should feel excluded from something which connects people in a way nothing else can
“By working together across football, we can make a difference “