Nigel Owens and Caitlyn Jenner both lend support to Russia for World Cup 4 months ago

Nigel Owens and Caitlyn Jenner both lend support to Russia for World Cup

International rugby referee Nigel Owens and American television personality Caitlyn Jenner will both be supporting Russia at this year's FIFA World Cup.

Owens and Jenner have teamed up with Irish bookmaker Paddy Power to help raise funds for LGBT groups and charities.

Paddy Power will donate £10,000 pounds to various groups every time hosts Russia score a goal at this summer's tournament.

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Working with Attitude magazine‘s Foundation, donations will be going to:

  • Challenge LGBT+ prejudice on and off the field
  • Support footballers and those in the game in coming out
  • Fund educational programmes in schools and colleges
  • Make grass-roots teams safe spaces for LGBT+ players

Paddy Power will donate a minimum of £50,000 in the event that Russia fail to score at least five goals over the group stages and founder Paddy Power said of the scheme:

“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."

Darren Styles OBE, publisher of Attitude was excited about the partnership and welcomes the opportunity to benefit from Russia’s success.

“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.”