Bristol City Panthers and Charlton Invicta will go head to head this weekend and make history in the process, as they become the first LGBT teams to have formal affiliations with EFL clubs.
It’s 18 years since the first LGBT football team was formed in England but there are still instances of players and fans being on the receiving end of homophobic chants.
However, Invicta’s and Panthers’ association with Charlton Athletic and Bristol City respectively, demonstrates the clubs support and sends a public message that football should be inclusive for all participants.
Bristol City Panthers chairman Rob Parry-Hall said: “This match represents a positive stride forward to improving diversity and inclusivity in football both on the pitch and in the stands. We look forwards to welcoming Charlton Invicta for what will be a hotly contested first meeting between the clubs.”
Charlton Invicta player-manager Gary Ginnaw commented: “Sunday’s match is a huge step for the LGBT+ community and football as a whole. With the support of Charlton Athletic Community Trust and Bristol City Community Trust, we are making great strides to break down barriers, shake off stereotypes and help to make football more inclusive.”
The friendly fixture will be played at South Bristol Sports Centre on Sunday (March 18th), kicking off at 2pm and is free of charge to spectators.