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Sporting codes unite in campaign to stamp out homophobia

Sporting bodies agree to measures to combat homophobia in a move welcomed by players and international organisations

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Peak Australian sporting bodies and high-profile players from rugby league, rugby union, cricket and soccer have united on Wednesday in a world-leading campaign committed to eliminating homophobia in sport.

In a major joint announcement on Wednesday leading figures from Cricket Australia, the National Rugby League, Football Federation of Australia, Australian Football League and Australian Rugby Union agreed to measures to combat homophobia in sport.

The sports codes all agreed to created clear anti-homophobia frameworks that would outline training and education strategies, sanctions and reporting and implementation of the policy at both national and local levels.

The organisations all agreed to create the frameworks before the start of the Sydney Bingham Cup, the World Cup for gay rugby, on 27 August.

The AFL chief executive, Andrew Demetriou, said: “This launch is just another important step in the journey for a level playing field for all people.”

The FFA chief executive, David Gallop, added that he hoped the initiative would serve as a model for overseas codes.

“Sport has a great opportunity to raise awareness around this issue and must take that responsibility seriously,” he said.

The Cricket Australia executive general manager, Ben Amarfio, said that sporting codes had to ensure everybody felt welcome to play the sport.

“It’s not just about athletes, it’s also about the people who are involved or interested in sport,” he said.

Stars including Nathan Lyons, Greg Inglis and Nick Farr-Jones have all thrown their support behind the policy

The former Wallabies captain John Eales said: “I feel we have reached a turning point in our efforts to change sporting culture so that sexuality is no longer an issue.”

The federal government has also declared its support for the initiative.

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