Open letter to FIFA

SERBIAN FOOTBALL CLUBS REFUSE TO CONDEMN HOMOPHOBIA

The Football Association of Serbia, “Partizan” and “Red Star Belgrade” Football Clubs keep refusing to publicly distance themselves from homophobic messages and calls to murder of gay persons which are delivered by these two teams’ fans.

The facades of Belgrade are covered with a few hundred graffiti such as “Death to faggots” which were signed by “Red Star Belgrade” and “Partizan” fan groups. The Gay and Lesbian Info Center and other nongovernmental organizations requested the Football Association of Serbia and these two clubs’ management to publicly distance themselves from these messages and to condemn the calls to murder of gay persons a few weeks ago. It has not happened yet.

These hate messages were caused by the Pride Parade which is scheduled for September 20th of this year. The first Belgrade Pride Parade was bloodily suppressed by “Red Star Belgrade” and “Partizan” fans in 2001. The fans are actively preparing to do the same this year, while the clubs’ management is silent and, thus, indirectly approving the calls to violence.

We would like to appeal to the Fédération Internationale de Football Association to exert pressure on the Football Association of Serbia, “Partizan” and “Red Star Belgrade” Football Clubs so they would publicly distance themselves from calls to murder which are delivered by their fans. Please, help us in the struggle against homophobia and violence against the LGBT population in Serbia.