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'Unacceptable' that footballers fear anti-gay abuse

It is "unacceptable" that footballers still feel the need to hide their sexuality out of fear of abuse, a Liberal Democrat minister has said. Stephen Williams has called for anti-gay abuse to be tackled "with the same vigour" as racism.

Football clubs in England and Wales have done a frankly remarkable job at cracking down on racism since it was rife in the 1970s.

With the occasional exception that draws deserved criticism from fans up our game is leagues ahead of many of our European neighbours when it comes to integration.

– Stephen Williams, Liberal Democrats

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Tackle homophobia 'same as racism in football'

Homophobia on the football terraces should be met with the same zero tolerance as racism, a Liberal Democrat minister has said.

Communities Minister Stephen Williams called for clubs, the Football Association and the police to tackle anti-gay abuse with the same vigour as racial discrimination.

 Norwich City player wearing rainbow laces on their football boots as part of an anti-homophobia campaign
Norwich City player wearing rainbow laces on their football boots as part of an anti-homophobia campaign Credit: PA

New Premier League season set to get under way

The Premier League season will get under way today as new Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal makes his first appearance in English football's top-flight.

Manchester United will start new season under a new manager for the second year in row when they take on Swansea City at Old Trafford in the early kick off on Saturday.

PA Wire
Louis Van Gaal faces a challenge to restore Manchester United's fortunes. Credit: PA Wire

Manchester City will begin the defence of their title tomorrow when they face Newcastle United.

Arsenal will look to build on May's FA Cup triumph with a win against Crystal Palace, who are without a manager following Tony Pulis's departure.

Liverpool will open their season against Southampton as they launch another bid for the title, but will do so without Luis Suarez after selling the Uruguayan to Barcelona for £75 million.

Title favourites Chelsea face newly-promoted Burnley at Turf Moor on Monday.

Luis Suarez ban upheld but he is cleared to train

Luis Suarez's four-month ban from football for biting an opponent has been upheld by the Court for Arbitration of Sport, but the player has been cleared to train with his new club Barcelona.

Luis Suarez can start training with Barcelona immediately.
Luis Suarez can start training with Barcelona immediately. Credit: PA

The Uruguayan striker received the lengthy ban after he bit Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during a World Cup match in June.

Suarez has since transferred from Liverpool to Barcelona for £75 million, but today's ruling confirms that he will not be able to play for the Spanish side until 26 October.

Their opponents on that day will be their fierce rivals Real Madrid.

Read: Suarez banned from football for four months

Football fans hope Premier League listens to protesters

Football fans have continued to take to Twitter to share their support for today's "Affordable Football for All" demonstration:

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Fully support the @the_fsf march at Premier League HQ today. Football is becoming a farce and fans are the ones suffering #priceprotest

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I hope the Premier League listen to what fans are saying at the #priceprotest today and stop the decline into a future where fans walk away

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I hope the @the_fsf #priceprotest march makes the @premierleague & @football_league listen to us fans. We make the game what it is afterall

Read: Football fans demand cheaper Premier League tickets

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Football fans prepare to protest against ticket prices

Photos of football fans preparing to march in the Football Supporters' Federation protest, against the rising cost of season tickets, have appeared on Twitter:

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First few fans and media starting to arrive @the_fsf #priceprotest - come along & join us at Marble Arch 1pm http://t.co/Iqnll1nd5l

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Liverpool FC and Everton FC fans are today taking part in a protest against football match ticket prices http://t.co/CocPFYXV28

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Read: Football fans demand cheaper Premier League tickets

Miroslav Klose retires from international football

All-time World Cup leading goalscorer Miroslav Klose has retired from international football.

The 36-year-old's announcement comes less than a month after helping Germany win the World Cup in Brazil.

Reuters
Miroslav Klose ended his international career on a high after Germany's World Cup victory. Credit: Reuters

His 16th World Cup goal in the 7-1 semi-final humiliation of Brazil made him the all-time leading scorer in the tournament's history ahead of Ronaldo.

The Poland-born striker played in four World Cups, scoring at all of them.

The Lazio striker follows Germany captain Phillipp Lahm into international retirement.

Arsenal players tweet delight after Wembley win

Arsenal stars have taken to Twitter to share their delight at winning the first silverware of the season.

The Gunners took the Community Shield with a 3-0 victory over Manchester City at Wembley, with four new players among the starting line-up.

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Getting soaked in champagne after the game beats getting soaked in rain before the game!! http://t.co/60l05QZ162

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