February is the international campaign month of ‘Football v Homophobia’ (FvH) and we here at Saint Anthony’s are supporting the initiative.

FvH is a campaign uniting football in opposing homophobia and prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTI) people in football.Year round, FvH Scotland enables people to take action against prejudice and discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression in football, and to celebrate and welcome diversity in the game. This culminates in an international show of support in February to raise awareness of theissue and to join together in making a visible stand against prejudice and for inclusion.

Saint Anthony’s are pleased to be supporting the campaign this season as part of the FvH grassroots initiative. Ants Head of Digital and Social Media Martin McKenna said: “We are delighted to sign up for Football v Homophobia Scotland’s month of action. It is sad that in this day and age a persons sexual orientation or gender identity should require a month of action to make them feel included and welcome in football. The club has a constitution which is clear that we are a club welcome to all regardless of religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, race or origin and are proudly non sectarian and non political. When we saw FVH Scotland were launching this campaign we were delighted to get in touch and pledge our support and we have designated our match on the 15th of February v Ardeer Thistle to highlight the campaign, but will be active through the full month and beyond in supporting FVH”

Recent Outsport research found that almost 88% of Scottish respondents considered homophobia in sport to be a current problem. Almost ⅓ of Scotland’s LGBTI respondents have refrained from a certain sport because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The sport which respondents most often refrained from was football (41%), a particularly high figure in comparison to other EU countries.

Attitudes in Football are changing, but we all need to make sure that the language we use and the way we behave reflects this change. At The Ants we believe we can make a real difference to the culture of football, and we’d like your support. We know that change starts with education and The Ants recognises its has a role to play in leading the way on raising awareness of homophobia and LGBTI discrimination within the club and its community.

Saint Anthony’s FC  believes in a game where LGBTI people can be seen and heard, and valued for their contribution to football. The Ants will work to create a safe and inclusive football environment where people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions are welcome.

The Ants will be designating a game in support of the Football v Homophobia campaign this February in our match v Ardeer Thistle on Saturday the 15th of the month at McKenna Park  This is an opportunity for our supporters and friends to also get behind the campaign and show everyone that The Ants is no place for hate or bigotry.

At our #FvH2020 designated game The Ants will be making a pledge to improve our club by using the rainbow matchball to show our support and having our team photographed holding up pledge cards. We will be putting up posters in our changing rooms and toilet facilities stating that they are inclusive of all and will be contacting local LGBTI groups, pubs and clubs inviting them along to the game to show they are more than welcome at McKenna Park.

Find out more about the Football v Homophobia campaign and action you can personally take in February, here: Twitter: @fvhscot | Facebook:

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