Kick It Out changes focus

Sport - Football's equality campaign plans film to tackle homophobia among fans.

The body set up to tackle racism in football is to create a film aimed at fans as part of a campaign to address homophobia in the sport.

Kick It Out, football's equality and inclusion campaign, has teamed up with The FA and the Professional Footballers' Association.

The film, to be released in the spring, will educate football fans and players about the negative impact of homophobic abuse. The in-house PR teams at The FA and Kick It Out will target the sports, gay and current affairs media to promote the film.

This is the first high-profile campaign to address homophobia in the UK's football grounds. Kick It Out has previously worked with organisations including Stonewall and the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association to target homophobia with behind-the-scenes activities.

Danny Lynch, media and comms officer at Kick It Out, said a recent incident involving Portsmouth player Sol Campbell had highlighted the need to take action. Last week 11 people were charged with chanting homophobic abuse at him during a match last year.

Lynch added that while racist language was generally condemned, homophobic abuse had been 'normalised to a point of acceptance by many football supporters'.

Ex-Chelsea player and Kick It Out ambassador Paul Elliott and The FA's equality manager Lucy Faulkner will be involved in the film, though no FA Premier League footballers have yet been confirmed. The film will be distributed to football clubs, to be shown in stadiums, and will be available online.

Lynch said the film was also aimed at people who were not necessarily homophobic but who used unacceptable language.

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