The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Manchester United and Chelsea join campaign to combat anti-gay discrimination on football

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LONDON - Manchester United and Chelsea have joined a national campaign to combat anti-gay discrimination in football that aims to win the support of at least half of England's professional clubs.

Eleven Premier League clubs including Arsenal and Manchester City have joined the "Football vs. Homophobia" program so far, pledging to speak out against anti-gay discrimination and to support the campaign's activities.

West Ham captain Kevin Nolan says the month-long campaign, which is backed by Sports Minister Helen Grant, "sends out a message that there is no place for discrimination in football, nor in any sport."

Last month, retired player Thomas Hitzlsperger became the biggest name in football to come out as gay. Former English player Justin Fashanu was the first to go public, in 1990. He committed suicide eight years later.

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