Manchester United has announced it will play a friendly match against the United Kingdom’s oldest gay football club, marking both an important anniversary and the club’s commitment to LGBT diversity in sport.
Speaking at the Team Pride: LGBT in Sports Conference, Group Managing Director of Manchester United Richard Arnold said the club would help to celebrate Stonewall FC’s 25th
anniversary in a friendly face off, reports Gay Star News
“As some have suggested this may be a little unfair,” said Arnold, observing the differences in skills between the two sides. “It will be the [Manchester United] veterans and staff XI team.”
Stonewall FC trustee and player Jamie Feldman told Gay Star News the club was thrilled to be celebrating their 25th
anniversary with a match against one of the most famous clubs in the world, which striking up an important dialogue about LGBT inclusion and diversity in sport.
“It’s fantastic that Manchester United are showing a desire to want to get involved with helping in the battle against homophobia in football,” he said.
“They’re following in the footsteps of Arsenal, who hosted us at the Emirates Stadium two years ago. It’s fantastic moment that today, on our 25th anniversary, Manchester United – considered by many one of the biggest clubs in the world – have announced they’re going to host us for a day.
“With continued support from key partners – Aon, Manchester United and Barclays – it enables us to be at the forefront of what is still an issue; trying to beat homophobia in football.”
While Manchester United has confirmed the match is to go ahead at the Aon Training Complex, a spokesperson said a date is yet to be set, and would “depend on player availability at the time.’
Held in London, the Team Pride: LGBT in Sports Conference was facilitated by Aon and supported by Manchester United, Adidas, EY, Accenture, Aviva, Barclays and several other blue-chip companies.
Attending the conference was former NBA basketball player John Amaechi, rugby player Keegan Hirst, boxer Nicola Adams and footballer Casey Stoney.
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