Representation in both Professional Game and Supporters Group categories for Foxes and Spurs in 2022 Football v Homophobia Awards, sponsored by Puma; Manchester Laces and club founder Helen Hardy nominated; The Athletic’s Adam Crafton shortlisted for FvH Hero; and new FvH Americas Awards…
Football v Homophobia has announced its 2022 Awards shortlists for England and Wales, which include categories for the Women’s Game, Professional Club, Supporters Group, and FvH Hero.
Sponsored by Puma, this is the third year of the FvH Awards, which recognise and celebrate the great work on LGBTQ+ inclusion happening across the game over the previous 12 months.
The 2022 edition features two new categories – Cymru Club, to honour clubs in Wales; and the Fare Award for International Work, for an organisation anywhere on ‘planet football’ that has undertaken an inspirational LGBT+ inclusion project.
328 nominations were received across all nine categories this year, and for the first time, there is also an equivalent for FvH Americas to honour those across the Atlantic.
The FvH Awards’ Judging Panel featured Fans for Diversity campaign manager Anwar Uddin; Football v Transphobia campaign lead Natalie Washington; Fare’s head of policy and social inclusion Esther Jones Russell; as well as representation from the Football v Homophobia Youth Panel and Sports Media LGBT+.
- Read about the 2021 Awards winners here!
- ‘It’s an honour!’ – Previous winners on their FvH Awards pride
The 2022 winners will be announced during a ceremony taking place on Friday, February 25.
- Leicester City
- Sheffield United
- Tottenham Hotspur
This award recognises professional football clubs that have shown dedication to improving the landscape of football for LGBTQ+ people over the past year. Those nominated have tried to integrate LGBTQ+ inclusion and participation into the foundations of their club.
All three nominated clubs – Leicester and Tottenham from the Premier League, and Sheffield United from the Championship – have liaised closely with their club fan groups to deliver visibility, education and engagement all year round.
Whether through content, merchandise, activations involving first-team players or local community work, staff from the Foxes, Spurs (who won this award in 2020) and the Blades have helped make lesbian, gay, bi and trans folk know they are valued in a variety of ways on and off the pitch.
This was a particularly challenging category to shortlist, with clubs from all of the top four divisions in England put forward, demonstrating the encouraging progress being made on inclusion.
- Ashford Town (Middlesex) FC
- Dulwich Hamlet FC
- Sheppey United FC
This award has been designed to celebrate the achievements of clubs within the National League System, in relation to their work on LGBTQ+ inclusion in football. The winner will be a Non-League Club that has gone above and beyond to tackle issues of exclusion in the game over the past year.
Dulwich (National League South), Ashford (Isthmian League South Central – Step 4) and Sheppey (Southern Counties East Premier – Step 5) were all shortlisted for this award following strong demonstrations of inclusivity.
The welcoming environments they are creating have had a significant impact on supporters, staff and players – such as Ashford’s former head coach Luke Tuffs and Sheppey defender Jahmal Howlett-Mundle, who both spoke publicly about being LGBTQ+ during 2021 – and local people.
Learn more about Jahmal’s story at Sheppey in this Sky Sports feature article.
- Manchester Laces
- Nottingham Lions FC
- St John’s Deaf FC
This award is for any Grassroots club which has excelled at making itself a safe and inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ people. Those nominated are clubs that have publicly taken a stand against LGBTQ+phobia and actively worked to make their club inclusive over the past year.
The success story of Manchester Laces – a club for women and non-binary people that was launched during lockdown – is recognised by a nomination here. Meanwhile, in their 15th anniversary year, GFSN club Nottingham Lions produced a powerful video campaign in support of FvH, alongside other activities.
Completing this category, St John’s Deaf FC in north London partnered with charity Deaf Rainbow UK to stage a special awareness-raising match which sent a message that resonated strongly throughout their communities.
- Foxes Pride
- Proud Baggies
- Proud Lilywhites
Nominees for this award are made up from football supporters groups across the fan movement that have worked to make professional football more inclusive of LGBTQ+ fans over the past year.
The official fan groups of Leicester and Tottenham make it a double with their respective clubs also up for the Professional award, while West Brom’s equivalent are going for three gongs in a row in this category.
The rise of Foxes Pride – now City’s largest supporters group, with over 200 members – has been championed by Brendan Rodgers, his players and other personnel at the King Power Stadium. It’s a third successive nomination for Proud Lilywhites whose hard work on tackling homophobic chanting was noted in several submissions.
Meanwhile, areas of focus for Proud Baggies in 2021 have been tackling hate crime and working with West Midlands Police on awareness training.
- Bellevue FC
- FC United of Wrexham
This award has been designed to celebrate the achievements of clubs within Wales, in relation to their work on LGBTQ+ inclusion in football. The award will be made to a Welsh club at any level which has gone above and beyond to tackle issues of exclusion in the game over the past year.
Both these clubs play in the North East Wales Football League and have embedded the FvH campaign throughout their comms and year-round community work. Examples include Bellevue’s partnership with Pride Wrexham on addressing lingering stigma around being LGBTQ+ while FC United of Wrexham‘s futsal teams have been particularly proactive on inclusion over the last 12 months.
- Cheshire FA
- Herefordshire FA
- Sussex County FA
This award recognises the important contribution English County FAs make to increasing LGBTQ+ inclusion, as well as addressing LGBTQ+phobia within their area.
FvH, Football v Transphobia and Rainbow Laces were all well supported by the nominees here. Cheshire FA staged a superb community event for the latter campaign at their Northwich HQ in December having preceded that by again promoting the Stonewall initiative strongly throughout their leagues and clubs. Herefordshire FA harnessed the voices of members of their Youth Council in a podcast / vodcast series that addressed themes of sexuality, gender, and mental health. Activities from Sussex CFA included an ‘LGBT Super Sixes’ tournament and online FIFA tournament, which raised money for the MindOut charity, plus webinars and workshops throughout 2021.
- Brighton Seagals
- Helen Hardy
- Stonewall FC Women & Non-Binary Team
This award is for an individual or a club in England or Wales who has worked to make the women’s game more inclusive of LGBTQ+ people in the UK over the past year. Nominees come from all levels and aspects of the women’s game.
In 2021, Brighton Seagals formally changed its team name to be gender-neutral, and that’s just one of many ways in which the Sussex County WGFL side sends out a message of inclusivity. Helen Hardy, the founder of Manchester Laces, is commended for creating an empowering space that brings people with a range of skills and abilities together; and the addition in 2021 of a WNB team to the Stonewall FC family is a continuation of that club’s pioneering spirit, with diversity at the heart of the project.
- Adam Crafton
- Carys Ingram
- Hayley Wood-Thompson
The Football v Homophobia Hero Award goes to an individual who has shown dedication and passion for improving football, by fighting LGBTQ+ phobia and promoting better inclusion for LGBTQ+ people, making the beautiful game, a game for everyone! Individuals here can be nominated for one extraordinary piece of work, or for consistent work over a period of time at any level of football.
The 2022 Hero nominees each come from different walks of life and have undoubtedly inspired LGBTQ+ people far and wide. Adam Crafton‘s outstanding journalism for The Athletic in 2021 included long-form features on the life of Justin Fashanu, the experiences of queer people in Poland related to UEFA’s staging of the Europa League final in Gdansk, and an extraordinary investigation into what it means to be LGBTQ+ in Saudi Arabia following the Gulf country’s Public Investment Fund takeover of Newcastle United.
Carys Ingram is one of the co-founders of The Rainbow Wall, the official LGBTQ+ fan group for the Wales national teams – she was at the heart of the group’s rapid growth and visibility which coincided with the men’s team making the last 16 at Euro 2020 – while she is also the co-chair of Proud Swans, the Swansea City group.
A P.E. teacher at a school in Hertfordshire, Hayley Wood-Thompson plays for Cheshunt FC Women. In LGBT+ History Month 2021, she shared a video on social media that went viral, and was also shown to 1,400 students at registration – the first time she had spoken about being gay in a school environment. The film explores her personal journey in football and education, and the changes she has witnessed.
Fare International Work
- AJ Auxerre
- Ligue de Football Professionel
- Working for our Wellbeing – Sport for Tolerance
Nominees for this new global-focused award are organisations big or small that have delivered exceptional work over the past 12 months to make football a better place for LGBTQ+ people – getting them involved in the game, using football as a tool to create positive outcomes for LGBTQ+ communities, or educating young people in football environments.
As Auxerre continue to chase promotion back to the French top-flight, the club has put anti-discrimination training in place for its youth players, working with LGBTQ+ groups to ensure that’s comprehensive. Staying in France, the LFP teamed up with SOS Homophobie, PanamaBoyz & Girlz United and Foot Ensemble for a league-wide initiative on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia in May, with the message ‘Gay or Straight, We All Wear The Same Jersey’. Completing this category is the courageous Working For Our Wellbeing, who once again held a ‘Sport For Tolerance’ tournament and festival in Cameroon – a country where there are no LGBTQ+ rights.
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- Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team
- Liga BBVA MX (Mexico)
- Sacramento Republic FC (USA)
- Asociación Nacional de Deporte LGBTQ+ (Mexico)
- Minnesota Gray Ducks (USA)
- Zorros LGBT (Mexico)
- Porra de Orgullo (Mexico)
- San Diego Rainbow Loyals (USA)
- Minnesota Gray Ducks / Ryan Adams (USA)
- Miranda Sanchez Salman (Mexico)
- Noemi Arzate (Mexico)
- Ivan Lara Manriquez (Asociación Nacional de Deporte LGBTQ+, Mexico)
- Nicolas Pineda (Orgullo Deportivo LGBT+, Mexico)
- Rafael Villanueva (Didesex, Mexico)
Good luck to all the nominees on Awards Night on Friday, February 25!
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