The Mayor of London has refused to help fund the 2008 International Gay and Lesbian Football Association World Championship, which is to be being held in London in August.
Ken Livingstone has also refused to sign a letter of support for the IGLFAWC’s grant application to the UK lottery fund.
Having the high-profile support of the Mayor would increase the likelihood of the grant succeeding.
The unexpected lack of financial support from the Mayor has contributed to the IGLFAWC being left with a funding shortfall.
“It is scandalous that Ken Livingstone is organising billions of pounds for corporate mega events like the 2012 Olympics but can’t give a few thousand pounds to help host the gay football world championship,” said Peter Tatchell of the LGBTI human rights group OutRage!
“London is has won the honour of being the host city, yet the Mayor is refusing to support the event in any way. He’s giving no funding and won’t sign a letter of support for the lottery bid.”
The UK’s Stonewall Football Club has previously won the gay world championship, and is a strong contender to win the title this year.
“The gay community is being taken for granted and short-changed by the Mayor. Huge grants are being doled out to other communities but the gay community is getting very little,” said Tatchell.
The previous championships, which saw hundreds of gay and lesbian soccer players from around the world participate, took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in September last year. The event is backed by the world soccer association FIFA
Founded in 1980, the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association describes its mission as aiming to “foster and augment the self respect of gay women and men throughout the world, and engender respect and understanding from the non-gay world, through the medium of football.”