Months after the Japanese national team have returned home with its first FIFA Women's World Cup title, the governing body of international soccer announced that it will investigate homophobia in the sport.
According to activist organization AllOut.org, which began a campaign to condemn homophobia in women's soccer, FIFA's secretary general Jérôme Valcke announced an investigation against Nigerian Football coach Eucharia Uche.
A New York Times profile of the women's World Cup quoted her as saying, “The issue of lesbianism is common. I came to realize it is not a physical battle; we need divine intervention in order to control and curb it. I tell you it worked for us. This is a thing of the past. It is never mentioned.”
Shortly thereafter, All Out, the Federation of Gay Games, and the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association gathered 46,000 signatures for a petition urging FIFA to condemn homophobia in soccer. They also orchestrated a flash mob outside of the stadium at the semi-finals to bring attention to the issue of homophobia.
"Today we are excited to see FIFA take a first, critical step…" Andre Banks, the co-founder of AllOut.org, said in a statement Friday. "By launching an immediate probe into coach Uche's homophobic statements, the international governing body of soccer is sending a clear and important message: homophobia has no place in football, on or off the field."