English club Stonewall Lions FC convincingly won the Gay World Football Championship on Saturday at Leyton Orient’s league ground, the Matchroom Stadium, in London.

The London-based club defeated the Argentine team Safgay FC, 5-0, the biggest winning margin in a final since the inaugural competition in September 1997 in Washington DC.

Stonewall previously won the Gay Football World Championship in 2002 and 2006, and last month won the European Gay Football Championship.

The championship was organised by the International Gay & Lesbian Football Association (IGLFA) and was backed by the Football Association.

In all, 40 teams from all over the world competed in the week-long tournament. Countries represented were United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Ireland, Iceland, Denmark, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Japan and Australia.

Among those backing the tournament was gay human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell. He now becomes a football “pundit” after predicting a Stonewall win last week.

“In the gay football championships, the British teams have yet again shown themselves to be the best in the world,” he said.

“It’s great to see England’s gay team bringing home the trophies.

“Stonewall Lions FC have avenged England’s [national team] recent dismal performance against the Czech Republic.

“This championship has bought together gay football teams from across the world; encouraging more gay people to get involved in football and, through the spending power of visiting teams and spectators, benefits the London economy.

“It challenges the machismo and homophobia that is often associated with football in many parts of the world,” Mr. Tatchell pointed out.

“Gay footballers are helping break down stereotypes and prejudice. They are ambassadors for gay inclusion and equality. Gay football enhances understanding and acceptance of gay and lesbian people,” he concluded.

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