Crusaders proud to be making stand against discrimination and prejudice

Crusaders FC's Seaview Stadium in north Belfast will host the 2018 Pride football tournament this Sunday as part of Belfast Pride Week.

Wednesday, 25th July 2018, 5:04 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th July 2018, 5:09 pm
The Rainbow Project, cpl and Crusaders FC have teamed up to support the Football v Homophobia initiative.

Hosted by The Rainbow Project, the amateur six-a-side tournament is part of the Football v Homophobia initiative - an international campaign to encourage participation in football and oppose homophobia, biphobia and transphobia at all levels of the sport.

Last year Crusaders FC was the subject of a BBC True North documentary, ‘Crusaders – Keeping the Faith’.

The hour-long programme followed the fortunes of the team, focussing on the Christian faith of manager Stephen Baxter and some of his players.

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Sunday’s Pride tournament, which is being run in partnership with Crusaders FC, the Irish Football Association and sponsors cpl recruitment, is a repeat of last year’s successful six-a-side competition held at the Shore Road stadium.

“Too many LGBT people feel excluded from participating in sport and so events like Football v Homophobia give people the opportunities to take part in sport and have a good time while at the same time taking an important stance against prejudice in sport so that everyone can enjoy the beautiful game without fear or prejudice or stereotyping,” said John O’Doherty, director of The Rainbow Project.

Welcoming the event’s return to Seaview, Crusaders FC’s vice-chair Mark Langhammer commented: “In line with our commitments within the UEFA 10-point plan, and the IFA’s ‘Football for All’ initiative, we want football players and fans to take a clear stand against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia so that everyone can enjoy the beautiful game and so that football leads the way in removing discrimination and prejudice based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Sport is an amazing way for people to achieve better mental health.”

Aine Brolly, managing director of cpl, added: “As an organisation we are committed to celebrating diversity and ensuring that everyone can be true to themselves without being subjected to discrimination of any kind.”

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