Rainbow Weekend in the Pro League
This upcoming weekend, the Belgian Pro League, in collaboration with Voetbal Vlaanderen, ACFF and URBSFA, is organising the rainbow weekend against homophobia, racism and other forms of inequality under the slogan “Football for All”. The campaign showcases the Pro League along with it’s professional and amateur clubs, commitment to diversity and tolerance on and off the field.
Belgian football clubs will be adorned with rainbow colours this weekend. The captains of all Belgian Pro League teams will compete for the 27th match day of the championship with the captain’s armbands in rainbow colours. The corner flags in all of the two professional competitions, and in many amateur division teams, will be rainbow-coloured. Although the colours of the rainbow represent the LGBT group, Belgian football not only wants to oppose homophobia but also racism and all forms of inequality. Therefore, it will be an action for diversity in the broadest possible sense: gender, culture, religion, skin colour, etc.
By including the colours of the rainbow flag in the club logo and the Pro League logo during the campaign, the football world wants to send the signal that everyone is welcome. This message is also found in its name: footbALL.
Portraits of football fans:
In addition to the players on the field, 4 testimonials will form the face of the campaign. In a special report, 4 football lovers (David, a Jewish football fan, Kenny, a Holebi supporter, professional player Mbaye Leye and Brian Tevreden, CEO of the KSV Roeselare) will talk about their love for the sport, but also about what it means for them to live their passion while facing words or songs that affect them and their identity and how they react when confronted by such songs. The stories which are an initiative of the Pro League with the support of the Football Unit and the Federal Public Service for Equal Opportunities, will be shared through the media of the clubs and football partners who have participated in the report.
Collaboration with the Kazerne Dossin Museum and the Ihsane Jarfi Foundation:
The fight against intolerance will not be solved in a single weekend, which is why the ambitions and commitment of the Pro League is to have a long term, ongoing impact. For example, they will be contributing the full proceeds from the auctioning of the captain’s armbands and signed corner flags of this “rainbow championship” day to two initiatives: the Kazerne Dossin Museum training program, which is looking at how we can live together today by looking at the past, and the Ihsane Jarfi Foundation shelter project, a shelter for LGBT and transgender youth who, when they come out, can no longer return home. You can find the auction sale link here.
Thus, the Pro League and its clubs want to provide financial and symbolic support to both organisations that are working towards the objectives of this campaign on a daily basis and who are also partners in setting up training sessions as part of the action plan against discriminatory songs, in which this campaign is part of.