QPR boss Marti Cifuentes adds voice to campaign against homophobia ahead of Rotherham United

QPR and Rotherham united will play with a rainbow ball in the Championship relegation clash on Saturday afternoon.
Marti Cifuentes has backed the campaigns in action at QPR today.Marti Cifuentes has backed the campaigns in action at QPR today.
Marti Cifuentes has backed the campaigns in action at QPR today.

QPR head coach Marti Cifuentes has added his support to the club's fight against homophobia as the Championship outfit shows its allyship towards the LGBTQ+ community today.

The Rs face Rotherham United in a relegation clash at Loftus Road and the Rainbow Ball will be in use during the match, the first to be used in English professional football. For every goal scored with the ball, PUMA is to donate to an LGBTQ+ Fans for Diversity Fund.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Writing in his matchday programme notes, Cifuentes said: "I'm very pleased that the club is supporting two campaigns today. Unite for Access is designed to help make the game more accessible to fans with disabilities, while Football v Homophobia aims to educate and stamp out discrimination against LGBTQ+ fans. My belief is that football is for everybody and hopefully, we can offer a good show of football today for all fans to enjoy - and, of course, to ensure that we get the three points."

Last week, Richard Young was recognised by Sky Bet for the 'positive work done in the local LGBTQ+ community' and received one of the limited edition rainbow balls. Sky explained: "Richard is the Chairperson of Rainbow Rangers, and since stepping into the role less than 18 months ago has been working tirelessly towards LGBTQ+ acceptance and inclusion in football.

"He has given up his own time to deliver staff and player workshops across the club and last year interviewed our then Director of Football, Les Ferdinand who spoke openly about discrimination in the game. On matchdays, Richard organises social meet-ups not only with Rainbow Rangers members but also the opposing team supporters’ groups."

Marti Cifuentes has backed the campaigns in action at QPR today.Marti Cifuentes has backed the campaigns in action at QPR today.
Marti Cifuentes has backed the campaigns in action at QPR today.

Matchgoers at Loftus Road on Saturday can also read a piece in the matchday programme by lifelong Rs supporter Jack Fidler, who explains the impact that homophobic language from the stands in the stadium had on him when growing up.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Jack wrote: "If you take one thing away from this article, I guess it's to be mindful of the person you sit next to. Before you berate the linesman for a terrible decision, think about the young QPR fan two rows away, unsure of their gender. Before you 'harmlessly' slate the opposite, spare a thought for the kind trying to work out who they are and how they fit into this world of football that we love.

"It's 2024 and you can love who you love, be who you are meant to be, and support our wonderful Queens Park Rangers. All of these things can co-exist, and through football - be that a last-minute winner, staying up on the last day or another 16th-place finish - let's celebrate both the wonderful differences that make us human and the similarities that keep us coming back to this historic stadium week in, week out."