The International Day Against Homophobia in Football is observed every year on February 19, the birth date of Justin Fashanu, who was Britain’s first out gay footballer.
Justin was expelled from his team, no club offered him a full-time contract. His former coach and some of his colleagues spoke out against him, and his brother publicly disowned him. After being falsely accused of rape, he fell into a depression which he would not get out of and he ended up committing suicide in 1998.
The aim of this international day opposing homophobia in football is to unite clubs, players and fans across the country by using the game of football to bring communities together in opposing hate and discrimination in the world’s favourite sport.
Sadly, homophobia has been widespread in men's association football, also known as soccer, throughout the world, and being a gay professional player in football is still a taboo.
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