Derry footballer James McClean and other local players have joined forces with Foyle Pride to launch Football v Homophobia, which is returning for its fifth year this month.
Foyle Pride chair Éimear Willis said: “Foyle Pride Festival will be marking 50 years from the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the birth of Pride and are as determined as ever to strive towards equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community here and throughout the world.
“With Football V Homophobia, we aim to celebrate the equality and diversity of LGBTQ+ people in sport whilst challenging the homophobia, biphobia and transphobia and invisibility of LGBTQ+ people that currently exists in football.”
Football v Homophobia will take place in The Brandywell, Derry City and Institute Football Club’s home stadium to both Derry City F.C. and Institute F.C. on Monday, August 19 from 5pm to 9pm.
“We are delighted that our local football teams’ home ground is able to host this tournament as it has grown year on year,” Éimear Willis said.
“The tournament is open to all genders and players over 16, with no upper age limit. The tournament will be split into 2 categories, ‘The Rainbow Shield’ for teams and players who have never played before or have limited football experience, and ‘The Rainbow Cup’ for the more serious football players. Entry fee per team is £25. Alternatively you can register as an individual to play in the tournament for £5 and you will be assigned a team before the event”.
Everyone who participates will get a pair of Rainbow laces and there will be special prizes for the ‘Player of the Tournament’, ‘Rainbow Boot’, and ‘Spirit of the Tournament’.
People are advised to get registration forms in early as there are only space for 16 teams,and to pay the entry money before the tournament by either dropping your form and money into The Rainbow Project on the Strand Road, or arranging with the committee to come and collect the form and money. Any queries, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02871283030.