As part of its campaign for the 2018 Russian World Cup, Paddy Power has revealed that for every Russia goal at the tournament it will donate £10,000 to causes dedicated to making football more LGBT+ inclusive.
Working with Attitude magazine‘s Foundation, the operator has detailed that its funding will help numerous elements of the LGBT community by challenging LGBT+ prejudice on and off the field, supporting footballers and those in the game in coming out as well as funding educational programmes in schools and colleges.
The initiative adds to Paddy Power’s strong marketing campaign for the Russian World Cup, with the firm already sponsoring the CONIFA World Cup in London and donating a five-figure sum to Polar Bears International, to fund a ground-breaking research project into Russian polar bears.
A Spokesman for Paddy Power commented: “Given they invented Russian Dolls, you’d be forgiven for thinking Russia wouldn’t have an issue with women being into other women.
“Likewise, their appreciation for bears is one shared around the world by the LGBT+ population, so it really is astonishing that they have not used their stewardship of this tournament to champion LGBT+ inclusivity.
“As a result, we’ve stepped in to help. When Russia Put-in a goal, we’ll Put-in £10,000 to Attitude magazine’s Foundation, who will use the funds to make football more LGBT+ inclusive. I cannot wait to see the LGBT+ community get behind the Russians – or the Russians’ baffled reaction.”
Furthermore, the group has detailed that to make up for the lack of quality in the Russian side, it will give away a minimum of £50,000 to LGBT+ causes. Darren Styles OBE, publisher of Attitude, said: “When Paddy Power approached us with this idea we leapt at the chance. The LGBT+ community has a long history of reclaiming and adopting behaviours, words and styles that were intended to discriminate against us, so for this tournament we’re adopting Russia.
“The World Cup is meant to be about inclusivity, but thanks to the hosts – and those who chose the hosts – this tournament (and the next, in Qatar) is taking place in a nation with laws that discriminate against the LGBT+ population.
“This is completely unacceptable and, therefore, we welcome the opportunity to benefit from Russia’s success and make unwitting allies of their national team. It will be hugely satisfying to see a goal from Russia send a message of equal love.”