Atkin will referee games in National League North and South this season – the sixth tier of English football.

The 32-year-old will also act as fourth official in Football League matches.

“It’s significant personally but more for the game itself, where we are in football and what is happening in the world,” Atkin told BBC Radio 5 live.

A report published by the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee in February said sport is not doing enough to tackle homophobic abuse.

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