10 Nov, 21:00
The alliance of LGBT football fan groups has thanked the Football Association for its help in encouraging members to attend England home games.
A Pride In Football (PiF) party of over 100 supporters who are affiliated to their own club LGBT fan groups will be at Wembley on Friday night cheering together for England in the friendly international clash against Germany.
The allocation of tickets for the match has been provided by the Football Association, an initiative made at a time when the game's governing body has been heavily criticised on wider issues of diversity and inclusion.
For several months now, the FA has quietly helped develop this branch of fans attending England fixtures, against a backdrop of diminishing attendances. Wembley was barely two thirds full for the World Cup Qualifying Group F clash against Slovenia last month.
A group of PiF members first attended an England home game during Euro 2016 qualifying, and even though subsequent clashes involving England fans during the tournament itself in France might have proved a discouragement, some members of the PiF group are now keen to travel to Russia for World Cup 2018.
There are perhaps even greater fears, however, for the following World Cup, due to be staged in Qatar in 2022. Same-sex activity remains illegal in the Arab country.