A PLEDGE to make football more inclusive for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) fans been backed by Ross County.
The Staggies general manager Emily Wilson made her remarks as the Dingwall-based club joined others across Scotland signing up to the Scottish LGBT Sports Charter.
It comes as the sport was identified as having the biggest challenges to overcome, by some margin, in relation to LGBT inclusivity.
For the first time, two-thirds of SPFL clubs and the entire SPFL Premiership have taken a stand by signing up to the charter which includes a set of five principles which aim to remove the barriers to sport for LGBT people.
The charter states as its aim that “Scotland will be a country where everyone can take part, enjoy, and succeed in sport at all levels whatever their sexual orientation and gender identity”.
It was developed in consultation with sports governing bodies (SGBs), other sports stakeholders and LGBT people.
Ms Wilson said: “Ross County are proud to be signing up to the charter and fully support the five principals which are included.
The club’s own vision highlights the importance of being inclusive and we look forward to working with both the Equality Network and other Clubs to ensure we promote this.”
The Equality Network’s Scottish LGBTI Hate Crime Report published this year reported that 15 per cent of LGBT people had experienced hate targeted at them while watching football and 51 per cent said they had witnessed it.
A 2012 study by the Equality Network showed that 57 per cent of LGBT people would be more likely to participate in sport if it was more LGBT friendly.