Socceroos midfielder and PFA Executive Member Jackson Irvine has joined a global campaign through FIFPRO, the world football players’ association, to promote LGBTQIA+ rights in football and asks for clear messages about inclusivity to come out of the World Cup in Qatar. The following excerpt is from

I’d like to talk to you about a subject really close to my heart. I have family and friends who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community – a group of people who, for a long time, have been massively marginalised and discriminated against. I want to speak up for them.

Let’s be clear here: homophobia in football is still a problem. There are a lot of issues facing sport and football in general – and I think any kind of toxic masculine atmosphere, which football unfortunately has sometimes, doesn’t make people from the gay community feel welcome and part of the game.

That has to change – and it has to change now.

We, as players, have a big role to play. Education and making information available to those in football is going to play a massively important part, as is us speaking up.

The full article, including a video with Jackson and information on the #ShineALight campaign can be accessed via FIFPRO, here.