Blues squad backing campaign to 'Call Full Time On Hate'
Pompey players took time out from preparing for their clash with Exeter to back the Kick It Out campaign.
Saturday's game sees the club host its dedicated fixture to the work of Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation.
And the Blues will be fully supported by opponents Exeter, who will join in wearing t-shirts in the pre-match warm up.
Since 1993, Kick It Out has worked throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and campaign for positive change.
Throughout the 2016/17 season, Kick It Out are running an initiative – Call Full Time On Hate – which aims to utilise and engage the collective force of football to tackle discrimination and hate incidents at every level of the game.
The initiative also seeks to highlight the positive messages of inclusion echoed by the football authorities, clubs, players, managers and supporters’ groups.
Pompey and Exeter are fully behind #CallFullTimeOnHate and in addition to showing support in Saturday’s programme, the club will be supporting the initiative on social media, as well as through Kick It Out resources such as the t-shirts and a big screen presence inside Fratton Park.
Before the match, the clubs’ respective Kick It Out player ambassadors, Noel Hunt and Ollie Watkins, will join Mark Jamieson, media and communications manager at Kick It Out and the two clubs’ respective chairs of supporters’ trusts – Ashley Brown and Martin Weiler – for a photograph to underline their commitment.
Hunt and his team-mates are looking forward to recognising the work of Kick It Out. The striker said: “The work of Kick It Out is vital in tackling all forms of discrimination in football and, as a club, we are delighted to be showing our support.”
Over the past year, Lord Herman Ouseley, chair of Kick It Out, has reiterated with all of the football authorities his concerns on behalf of the organisation around rising levels of hate in society and believes support from professional clubs is an important step in tackling the issue.
He said: “Our anti-hate initiative aims to build on existing positive education and awareness-raising projects supported by clubs and their foundations in their local communities.
“Football is at the forefront of helping its fans, players and young people in their local communities to understand the damaging effects of prejudice and discriminatory abuse.
“Call Full Time On Hate aims to ensure the game remains as inclusive and welcoming as possible and that it reiterates a zero tolerance approach to discrimination.”
The latest version of the Kick It Out app allows users to confidentially report incidents of discrimination seen or heard at a football match. It can be downloaded for free from the App Store or Google Play.