Across the past week, Chelsea FC has proudly shown our support for the 2020 Rainbow Laces campaign.

It culminated in a Rainbow Laces webinar with a great line-up of panellists including Chelsea Women’s Pernille Harder, ex-Chelsea player Graeme Le Saux, the FA’s senior inclusion and diversity manager Funke Awoderu and Chelsea’s HR director Sara Matthews, with Chelsea FC equality consultant Chris Gibbons chairing the discussion.

The hour-long webinar covered a raft of topics including Harder and Le Saux’s experiences at their clubs, the culture within the women’s game and what more can be done to create an inclusive game for everyone, both on and off the pitch.

Harder commented how much the support from fans in the women’s game has made a difference.

‘Women’s football has always been open-minded about homosexuality. I feel like the environment is really open, in the locker room and also [among] the fans.

‘In women’s football they just love the football and they don’t care who you are, what sexuality you have or what colour you are. I think that’s something that’s amazing about women’s football.’To hear more fascinating insight from the panel, you can watch the full webinar below.

Chelsea also commissioned a poem by writer Rikki Beadle-Blair, voiced as part of a short film by Women’s captain, Magdalena Eriksson, and men’s captain, Cesar Azpilicueta, to promote the Rainbow Laces campaign.

The creative piece was shown before both the men’s and women’s home games last week as we welcomed fans back to the stadiums for the first time since March. Both captains also wore special rainbow-themed armbands with players at all levels invited to wear rainbow-coloured laces in their boots. Stamford Bridge proudly showcased our rainbow display across the West Stand Upper seating in celebration of the campaign.

Chelsea is proud to be a diverse club welcoming staff, players, fans and families from all backgrounds and communities around the world. Tackling discrimination in all its forms, including anti-LGBT+ discrimination, is an important part of our work. Chelsea recently achieved the Advanced Level of the Premier League’s Equality Standard, the highest level a club can receive, demonstrating a commitment to embedding equality and diversity across all areas of the business, including the work of our charity, the Chelsea Foundation.