Paddy Power challenges Russia's LGBT+ policy with WC campaign

14 June 2018

Paddy Power has launched a 2018 FIFA World Cup LBGT+ donation campaign in partnership with Attitude magazine, underlining Russia’s discrimination against the community.

The bookmaker has pledged to donate £10,000 in its ‘Rainbow Russians’ initiative with agency Synergy for every goal scored by the Russian team in the tournament.

A minimum donation of £50,000 has been promised to the LGBT+ community to help “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 and make grass-roots teams safe spaces for LGBT+ players.”

Paddy Power’s spokesman 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.”

High-profile campaign supporters include ex-Olympian Caitlyn Jenner, former rugby star Gareth Thomas and referee Nigel Owens, ex-swimmer Mark Foster, England women's football international Lianne Sanderson, choreographer Louie Spence, and Christopher Biggins.

Related article: Paddy Power opens up over World Cup ad