Stonewall FC, Britain’s most successful LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality) football club, will make history at Wembley later this month.
They will take on Wilberforce Wanderers AFC in a top-of-the-table Middlesex County Football League Division One clash, the first time a non-League seasonal fixture has been hosted at the national stadium.
And the game on Friday 30 November, during this year’s Rainbow Laces campaign, will celebrate a significant new partnership between ourselves and Stonewall, the UK’s leading charity for LGBT, as we become a Stonewall Diversity Champion.
“This game will mark the pinnacle in my 12 and a half years as manager of the club,” revealed Stonewall FC manager Eric Najib Armanazi.
“We are delighted that we’ll be able to showcase our talent under the stadium’s famous arch and I‘m extremely thankful to all those involved that made this happen.”
“This event is a landmark moment for all those who have worked tremendously hard to eradicate all forms of discrimination within football.”
To help us create a game where everyone can be themselves, Stonewall will provide support on key areas across participation, governance, workforce management, communications and embodiment across the game, demonstrating our commitment to embedding LGBT inclusion across current and future business plans and teams.
Other areas of the partnership include creating an ‘Allies’ programme aimed at those involved in the national game who do not identify as LGBT and empowering them to support lesbian, gay, bi or trans people.
With support from Stonewall, we will be working to create an inclusive environment where LGBT people are able to thrive and perform at their best.
“This new relationship presents an opportunity for football to help change hearts and minds beyond the stadia, as well as ensuring that everyone who makes football happen feels included,” said Paul Elliott, Chair of The FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board.
“Whether players, supporters, members of the vital volunteer workforce, employees of The FA, contract staff or anyone else connected to the game, no-one should be left behind.
“The principle behind this partnership therefore embraces the philosophy that the game is for anyone, anytime, anywhere.
“We’re extremely excited to mark this move by welcoming Stonewall FC to play under the lights at Wembley Stadium. It is shaping up to be a truly iconic and memorable evening for everyone involved.”
Stonewall and The FA are now in partnership to help create a game where everybody can be themselves
Stonewall director of sport, Kirsty Clarke, added: “To have Stonewall FC invited to play at Wembley is a symbolic demonstration by The FA and sends a powerful message that LGBT people are a welcome part of the football family.
“We need everyone involved in the national game at every level of football, from the community to the elite, to feel included and welcome.”
“We now want to see everyone who plays a part in football showing their support and helping celebrate this momentous occasion.”
The game at Wembley will take place at 7.45pm on Friday 30 November.
Find out more about Stonewall and their work or read more about Stonewall FC ahead of their visit to Wembley.