This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.
The Football Supporters’ Federation have a small budget for supporters at clubs in England and Wales who would like to organise activities challenging racism, homophobia, disablism, transphobia, or any other diversity issues.
In the past we’ve spoken to fans who would like to do events relating to these issues, but found themselves hamstrung by a lack of funds. We’re not talking huge amounts, but even the smallest events can incur costs such as banners, travel, and so on.
This can be a great way of bringing fans together, raising awareness, and promoting football to the local community. We believe football should be open to all – fans have many differences but that should never become a barrier to supporting your team.
There have been some great initiatives recently such as rival fan groups from Punjabi Rams and Punjabi Wolves Supporters joining forces to promote their teams to the local community; the aim being to get new fans along.
Back in September supporters came together to organise a match between disabled fans at the Dripping Pan(above), home of Lewes, before their fixture against Wingate and Finchley. The day of action was even covered by Sky Sports News.
“There are still a lot of stigmas around disability and mental health and basically doing events like this can really does benefit the community,” said Sean Macleod, mental wellbeing manager at Lewes.
“It makes people realise that these stigmas are not really valid and it’s showing that everyone can play football and everyone can take part and be a part of a healthy society.”
Only yesterday (Sunday 16th November) we teamed up with Kick It Out, the Gay Football Supporters’ Network, and Football v Homophobia, to organise the inaugural #Prideinfootball event.
Wanted – your ideas
There is no blueprint for this, we’re open to a range of ideas and what might work at one club, might not at another. Pull together a budget and plan which we can work with you on.
We’ve already seen fans produce t-shirts, banners, flags, mosaics and organise events, marches, even buddy systems.
The Fans for Diversity campaign, a partnership between the FSA and Kick It Out, continues to assist supporters around the country, and we spoke to campaign lead Anwar Uddin about recent work to promote diversity via three new projects in London…
The FSA and Kick It Out’s joint Fans for Diversity campaign celebrated Black History Month by interviewing pioneering coach Alena Moulton and reminding everyone of the importance of the Jack Leslie Campaign.
The Fans for Diversity campaign has been working with supporters throughout lockdown to break down barriers to football and tackle discrimination – here we talk to campaign lead Anwar Uddin (Aldershot Town assistant manager in his spare time) about the work that’s been going on.