Paddy Power is donating £10,000 to LGBTQ charities every time Russia scores in the World Cup 5 months ago

Paddy Power is donating £10,000 to LGBTQ charities every time Russia scores in the World Cup

From Russia, with equal love.

Russia is set to gain an unprecedented amount of support in the run up to this year's World Cup, and it's absolutely nothing to do with football.

The host country has experienced some bad press as of late regarding its infamy both for pervasive homophobic attitudes and for incidents of hooliganism and violence among football supporters, rendering it an unsuitable country for LGBTQ football fans to travel to.

Paddy Power, however, has decided to give the Russian team a helping hand supporters-wise as they announced this week that for every goal scored by the national team, the betting giant will donate £10,000 (€11,350) to fund a number of charities dedicated to making football more LGBT+ inclusive.

Working with Attitude magazine’s Foundation, Paddy Power’s donations will:

  • 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 wants to ensure total inclusivity when it comes to the beautiful game, despite the home-nation's policy of discrimination.

The LGBT+ community have come out in force to support the campaign and thereby the Russian football team, with high-profile names such as ex-Olympian Caitlyn Jenner, international rugby referee Nigel Owens and England women’s internationals Lianne Sanderson and Jordan Nobbs fronting the campaign.

Fellow 'Rainbow Russians' Gareth Thomas, Mark Foster, Danni Wyatt, Christopher Biggins and Louie Spence have all revealed that they too are urging the LGBT+ population to stand in solidarity with Putin’s boys.

And before you wonder "what if Russia go the whole tournament without scoring?" – trust us, the powers-that-be at Paddy Power have thought of everything.

"Given Russia’s suspiciously easy group, it seems implausible that they would fail to score throughout their home tournament but, just in case, Paddy Power have allocated a minimum donation of £50,000," the betting company said in a statement.

Speaking about the initiative, a Paddy Power spokesperson said:

“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!”