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20 February 2024



20 February 2024

THE Puma Rainbow Ball will be used by Burton Albion for Saturday's home game against Northampton Town.

The Brewers are joining football clubs across the EFL to mark LGBTQ+ History Month by celebrating the importance of inclusion and representation.

In doing so, the EFL and PUMA are creating a piece of their own LGBTQ+ history, unveiling the first Rainbow Ball to be used in Football League matches.

As part of Burton Albion Community Trust’s support of this initiative Sam Thomas has been leading Rainbow Laces workshops as part of the trust’s Premier League Kicks project at Winshill Neighbourhood Community Centre, to KS3 participants from Abbot Beyne School.

Sam said: “The participants were mature in their responses and gave some thought-provoking answers to the questions I posed. They particularly enjoyed receiving some rainbow laces which they could begin to wear as a symbol of support.

“I have spoken to the participants about their thoughts post workshop. and they seemed to be fully supportive of the initiative and its need for longevity.

“It's only going to grow ever more apparent that there's a need to treat people the same regardless of their sexuality. Interacting with the youngsters in an external domain such as Premier League Kicks, aids frank conversation, honesty and integrity on the subject.”

Interim Head of Community John Widdowson said: “The use of the first Rainbow Ball at EFL marches is a powerful symbol that football is for everybody.

“At Burton Albion, making the Pirelli Stadium a welcoming place for everyone is at the heart of what we do and the Rainbow Laces workshop shows how young people can be active participants in bringing the community together.”

The Puma Orbita Rainbow Ball design includes the rainbow and progress colours, symbolising that football is for everyone and representing the League’s active support for inclusion throughout the game.

For every goal scored with the Rainbow Ball across the Championship, League One and League Two Puma will make a donation to an LGBTQ+ Fans for Diversity Fund. The money raised will be utilised to support LGBTQ+ supporters and their projects which may include initiatives to raise awareness about inclusion in football, events promoting diversity, or providing resources for LGBTQ+ fans within the football community.  

EFL partners will also show their support for the campaign, with Sky Bet donating an allocation of Rainbow Balls to LGBTQ+ friendly community football clubs and fans, while EA SPORTS FC 24™ players will be able to use the Rainbow Ball in gameplay.

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