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We must address LGBT inclusivitiy in football in light of the European Championship


14 Jun 2024



With the start of the European Championship, the issue of LGBT inclusivity in football, in particular men’s football, remains underaddressed. Despite the FA's 2016 guidance aimed at reducing transphobia, the gender binary remains ingrained in professional sports. Recent decisions by FIFA, including hosting tournaments in Russia and Qatar—countries known for anti-LGBTQIA+ stances—further underscore the contradictions within the sport's global governance.

Germany, the host for the upcoming European Championship, alongside UEFA, has pledged an inclusive tournament experience, with gender-neutral bathrooms and ticket lanes, but the reality of homophobia in football cannot be ignored. The global audience for the championship is expected to reach five billion, yet the discourse around LGBT rights remains minimal.

In light of the current situation, the Friedrich Naumann Foundaiton is hosting an event with speakers Lennart W. Salemink, Former Candidate for the European Parliament, Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie and Julia Monro, Member of the Federal Board, LSVD+ The Lesbian and Gay Federation Germany.

"The persistent homophobia and transphobia within football not only undermine the values of the sport but also infringe upon the fundamental freedoms and human rights of individuals. " – stated Jules Maaten, Regional Director, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom European Dialogue.

The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom European Dialogue is advocating for a zero-tolerance policy towards homophobic remarks and actions. We emphasize the need for clear consequences to foster a safer and more accepting environment within football.


Notes for Editors

Media Contact

Veronica Burgstaller, Communications Manager,

About Friedrich Naumann Foundation European Dialogue

The European Dialogue of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom has offices in Brussels, Geneva, Madrid, Prague and Vilnius. Through our work, we seek to actively encourage the political debate and develop innovative liberal policies in Europe. We seek to make innovation at the heart of liberal politics. This requires a combination of both hard and soft innovations, including social justice, rule of law, freedom of speech, strong democratic institutions and shared visions and goals.  Our activities aim at promoting these basic values through intercultural exchange and dialogue that is based on tolerance and mutual understanding.

++The Innovation Platform for a Liberal Europe++