Viktor Fischer, a footballer for FC Copenhagen, was the victim of homophobic chants directed at him by name in two separate incidents. The athlete, who identifies as heterosexual, was targeted by name with a homophobic chant during a recent match against their rivals, Odense Boldklub. The following day, he was again targeting during a match against FC Nordsjælland despite not playing during that specific match.

Following the first match, Fischer condemned the chanting and spoke out against the homophobic language used.

“I experienced specific songs against me, directed at me by name, saying I was homosexual. That’s not the problem. I have nothing against being called one thing or another. The problem for me here is that the word ‘homo’ was used as an insult. That is a very, very bad culture for young people and generally for everyone who comes to a football stadium to see football,” he told TV2.

“There’s something of a culture in elite sport, in football, which is based on just being tough, keeping quiet, because that makes you a strong sportsman. But it’s not about being a strong sportsman. It’s about the culture at stadia needing to be better. It’s about ‘homosexual’ not being an insult. It never should have been (an insult), and especially in 2019 in Denmark, it should not be anymore,” the 24-year-old footballer added.

The Danish Football Association (DBU) is standing behind Fischer and taking action to fight homophobia in football.

“Football is for everyone. Homophobia does not belong anywhere at home – either on or off the track. We do not want it, and we will do what we can to get the problem out. It requires both information and attitude influence, but it also requires that we look at the legal system to see if it follows the developments on the licks and in society, says DBU’s president Jesper Møller and continues:

“Now that we have got the first historical ruling in a case like this, we should evaluate and discuss whether the rule is up-to-date and works according to purpose. Of course, we must do this in dialogue with the clubs and other relevant parties. ”

The steps that DBU is taking includes calling for consultation on combatting homophobia through policy development and enacting sanctions against clubs/ athletes who engage in it, evaluate the regulatory framework in the field after the first, historical decision of the Football Disciplinary Authority, emphasize the consequences of the Criminal Code for homophobic cries, update instructions to referees, mapping diversity in Danish football and setting up diversity committees, and contributing actively to government plan on equal opportunities for LGBT people.

The DBU has run anti-homophobia campaigns since 2017 and are looking forward to building off that foundation to do more.

By Dirk Smith