German clubs unite against homophobia
Several German football clubs and the German Football Associations have signed the "Berlin Declaration" taking a stand against homophobia in football during a conference in Berlin on Wednesday.
Fifteen representatives from German politics and sports were the first to sign the “Berlin Declaration", presented during a conference in Berlin on Wednesday. The subheading of the declaration reads: "Together against homophobia. For diversity, respect and acceptance in sport."
Three German ministers – Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (justice), Hans-Peter Friedrich (interior) and Kristina Schroder (family) – were joined by representatives of the German Sports Foundation as well as the German Football Association (DFB) and presidents of several German clubs – with the most prominent being the Bayern Munich's Uli Hoeness and Martin Kind of Hannover 96.
The Berlin Declaration speaks out against homophobia in football and is backed by the media partner Sport Bild. It was also accompanied by a guide called “Football and Homosexuality” released by the German Football Association. The guide will be sampled to all clubs as well as to the county associations.
However, during the conference on Wednesday some of the high-ranking signees of the declaration were absent. The German paper taz hit out at DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach, who instead "flew out to a conference followed by a golf tournament in Kitzbuhel at Franz Beckenbauer’s invitation – and to shake FIFA boss Sepp Blatter’s hand".
"I would have loved to have him here," Marcus Urban, a former professional who came out after the end of his career, told the paper.
The German Football League, DFL, has so far not signed the Berlin Declaration, along with 14 Bundesliga clubs, who could sign the declaration in a second wave, according to Aktion Libero, an alliance of German sport blogs against homophobia.