FIFA Should Speak Up About Homophobia

What Women Really Think
June 23 2011 9:13 AM

FIFA Should Speak Up About Homophobia

Nigerian women’s soccer coach Eucharia Uche is proud of herself. As soccer players from around the world are getting ready for the kick-off of the FIFA Women’s World Cup this Sunday in Germany, Uche is saying that she has managed to "control and curb"  lesbianism on her team, reports the New York Times .

"Some of them go as far as renting rooms in hotels around the team’s campsite where they go to satisfy their orgy," Uche complained to Nigerian newspaper the Daily News earlier this year. "It’s a serious development that has been detrimental to the team’s growth and performance." (She told the Times , however, that she had never personally witnessed any homosexual activity, but believed the "strong" rumors about it.)


But now, Uche says, her players have ceased engaging in such practices, thanks to the Pentecostal ministers she brings in to pray with them for a "divine intervention." The chief media officer for the Nigeria Football Federation confirmed in March that those "who indulge in the nasty act" have promised to stop, and that measures to "ensure they keep to their promises" have been put in place.

FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, claims that "discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or group of people on account of ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, politics or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion." Yet all FIFA has had to say about the discrimination against lesbian Nigerian players is that it cannot comment, as no official complaint has been filed.

On other social issues, FIFA is far less ambivalent. The organization has been actively fighting racism for decades. It expelled apartheid South Africa from the Cup in 1961 and only readmitted the country after Nelson Mandela was released. FIFA also started a campaign called " Say No to Racism " and passed the Buenos Aires Resolution against racism in 2001. With the resolution’s 10th anniversary approaching, FIFA has been featuring inspirational anti-racism interviews on its website.

But Joanie Evans, co-president of the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association, told the New York Times that FIFA just doesn’t fight homophobia as forcefully as racism.

"Racism is a devil," said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter at an anti-racism event during the 2006 men’s World Cup. "There is a social responsibility in football, and our game is open to everyone-all genders, all races, all cultures." Homophobia is just another type of discrimination. FIFA has previously banned racist administrators , fans , players , coaches, and referees. Maybe it is time for it to be consistent.



Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Votes to Remain in U.K.

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

Can Democrats Keep Counting on Republicans to Offend Women as a Campaign Strategy?


Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.


The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

  News & Politics
The World
Sept. 19 2014 11:36 AM Breaking Up Countries Is Still Hard to Do
Business Insider
Sept. 19 2014 11:37 AM Why Urban Outfitters and Other Brands Troll Their Customers
Lexicon Valley
Sept. 19 2014 11:32 AM Why Do Pirates Talk Like That?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM Planned Parenthood Is About to Make It a Lot Easier to Get Birth Control
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Sept. 19 2014 11:51 AM This Is All That’s Left of New York’s Once-Thriving Borscht Belt 
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 11:40 AM Apple Invented the Perfect Way to Handle Your Giant New Phone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM The Curious Incident of the Supernova in the Nighttime
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.