Charlton Athletic recently became the first professional football club in England to establish a dedicated LGBTQI+ friendly football team in conjunction with Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT).
The formal launch of CACT Invicta FC (CIFC) took place at The Valley, home of the Addicks and, in line with the community ethos of the club, CIFC will be committed to providing structured playing opportunities to members of the LGBTQI+ community and their supporters.
In line with the EFL’s Code of Practice and English football’s Anti-Discrimination Action Plan, Charlton Invicta will also be supporting initiatives specifically designed to tackle discrimination and promote equality.
Katrien Meire, Charlton Athletic CEO said: “We are proud to be involved in this important launch that promotes positive change and inclusion. The Community Trust and CACT Invicta have put in a lot of work to get us to this point and we’re pleased as a club to support in whatever way we can.
“We’re looking forward to seeing CACT Invicta wearing the Charlton colours this season. Sadly homophobia is still a problem in football, and one we, as a club, take very seriously and are proactive on. Hopefully others can take inspiration from CACT Invicta to further promote positive change in the sport.”
Dr Michael Seeraj, CACT Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, said: “Charlton has a long and impressive history of pioneering anti-discriminatory work in football and communities. In relation to tackling racism, Charlton led the way 25 years ago in partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich, with the establishment of the Charlton Athletic Race & Equality (CARE) Partnership, which has grown from strength to strength.
“We are incredibly proud to bring the learning from this rich and important history, to now engaging with the LGBTQI+ community. The Charlton v Homophobia football tournament organised by the Proud Valiants, Charlton’s LGBTQI+ Supporters Group, was an incredible success and we are fully committed to continuing to promote equality in all areas of our work.”