As you’re cheering on your team in the Emirates FA Cup or league this weekend, you’ll see the players wearing rainbow laces. How come?
Well, between 24 November and 3 December, players, coaches, referees and fans will show their support for LGBT people involved in football during this year's Rainbow Laces week.
- 24 November - 4 December
- Players: 6789
- Leagues: 43
- Matches: 328
- County FAs: Amateur FA, Cheshire FA, East Riding FA, Essex FA, Hampshire FA, Hertfordshire FA, Kent FA, London FA, Manchester FA, Middlesex FA, Norfolk FA, North Riding FA, Sheffield & Hallamshire FA, Sussex FA, Surrey FA, West Riding FA
England kicked-off the campaign on Friday evening, wearing Rainbow Laces during their 4-0 victory over Bosnia & Herzegovina in a Women’s World Cup qualifier at a sold-out Walsall FC.
It's the biggest campaign yet, taking place across the professional and grassroots game with the support of The FA, Premier League and EFL.
Over 6700 pair of Rainbow Laces have been distributed to clubs in the Premier League, EFL, WSL, National League and at grassroots level via 16 different County FAs, meaning over 43 leagues and 328 matches across England will be taking part.
And after the Lionesses helped get the campaign underway in front of a live TV audience on the BBC, keep your eye on your favourite club next weekend when the Emirates FA Cup takes centre stage between 1 and 4 December, with clubs involved in second round ties also showing their support for the campaign.
While it’s great to see so many people in football lacing up their Rainbow Laces for these two weeks, Stonewall continue to offer support for anyone who wants to challenge attitudes in sport all year round.
Get your team, your colleagues and your classmates involved, use Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces toolkit, pick up laces, and inspire your community to be good allies to LGBT people.
If you are the target for abuse and feel the need for someone to speak to, then there are a number of ways to get help from The FA and organisations like Stonewall.
A Stonewall spokesperson said: ‘Our Rainbow Laces campaign is about getting allies to come out in support of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people and we’re working with many sporting bodies to improve inclusion in sport.
“It’s vital that equality stays on the agenda, as we work together to make sport everyone’s game. Coming out is a personal decision and the more support everyone shows for LGBT people in sport, the easier it will become.”
For more details on the campaign, please click here.