Arsenal Football Club has thrown its support behind this weekend’s campaign to kick homophobia out of the game.
The Club has an extensive programme of activities designed to raise awareness and address all issues of equality, including homophobia, through its Arsenal for Everyone campaign which has been running for five years.
The campaign group Stonewall and Paddy Power have joined forces this weekend to encourage players to wear rainbow coloured laces in their boots and Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen and vice-captain Mikel Arteta both sported a pair of boots tied with the multicoloured laces ahead of Friday’s training session.
Arsenal manacer Arsène Wenger said: “I am personally against it [homophobia]. For me that is linked with racism, every single week you could find a reason to fight against it. It's a kind of racism and that should all be included in the fight against racism. In our Club everybody is free to have his own opinion of these kind of things.”
The Club recently helped LGBT fans form their own supporters group, Gay Gooners, which has already recruited more than 70 members. A banner supporting the group has also been installed in the stadium bowl and will be on show for the first time ahead of Sunday’s game.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 22 Sep 2013