After Football Association, Football League become the latest backer of a government drive to stamp out homophobia and transphobia in sport. The development is significant as the Football League represents 72 clubs in England and Wales.
Already, 3,000 individuals and clubs have signed up the Government's Sports Charter to tackle homophobia and transphobia in sport. The Football Association has also launched a four-year plan to promote equality in football. It commits the FA to taking action in six key areas to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender inclusion in football
The Home Secretary, Theresa May, was at the League Cup final to see the Football League become the latest backer of the drive.
The Football League signed the Home Office Sports Charter at the Carling Cup final between Liverpool and Cardiff on Sunday.
It means one of the most important and oldest leagues in the world has committed to tackling discrimination both on the pitch and in the stands.
The development is also significant as reports reveal claims filed by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTI) asylum seekers, fleeing persecution and discrimination in their countries of origin, are treated differently across the 27 states of the European Union.
This was revealed by 'Fleeing Homophobia', the first-ever EU-wide comparative study recently released by Sabine Jansen and Thomas Spijkerboer.
Theresa May was joined by Chairman of the Football League Greg Clarke, as well as non-executive director of Middlesbrough Keith Lamb and director at Tranmere Rovers Lorraine Rogers.
Home Secretary Theresa May said: 'Football has a hugely important part to play in stamping out discrimination and intolerance. That’s why I’m so pleased the Football League – the largest league of professional clubs in Europe – has signed the government’s Sports Charter on behalf of all the clubs in their leagues.
'We now have all 92 professional league teams signed up. This means our campaign to tackle homophobia and transphobia will reach even more communities and spread the message that playing and watching the beautiful game should be open to everyone.'
Greg Clarke said: 'I’m delighted that Football League clubs have committed to tackle homophobia and transphobia in this way. Football League clubs are at the heart of local communities across the country and football has the power to change behaviour within our society.
'Everybody should be able to play, watch and enjoy sport regardless of their background, The Football League and our clubs will continue to play our part in promoting equality and diversity in English and Welsh football.'
The Home Office added: `The Football League’s signing follows all 20 Premier League clubs pledging their support for the charter on 2 February. All signatories will now work with the FA, Football League and other partners to take forward the commitments in the charter.
Since the charter launched in March 2011, more than 3,000 individuals and organisations have signed up. Supporters include Ben Cohen, Stephen Fry, David Furnish, Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova.
`And last week following a Downing Street roundtable the Football Association added its weight to tackling transphobia and homophobia by launching a four-year plan to promote equality in football’.
Read more: Fleeing homophobia, every year 10,000 LGBTI asylum claims in Europe.