Croatian national coach blasts gays20 January 2004

Otto Baric, the Croatian national team coach, has blasted gays in an interview published in “Jutarnji List”, a Zagreb newspaper.

He said that he could never work with a team that includes a gay player because he felt it was wrong. He views homosexuality as “abnormal and should not be practiced by young people.”

“I know that there are no gays on my team, I can spot one in ten minutes and I don't like having them on my team,” he said.

Previously, the 71-year-old Austrian citizen used to be the manager of the Austrian national team and has taken SK Rapid and SV Salzburg to the UEFA Cup finals.

Baric will manage Croatia at the Euro 2004 championships in Portugal, but his homophobic outburst has caused many Croatian gays to boycott support for their national side. Iskorak (step forward), the Croatian gay association say that many Croatians have switched allegiance to England, who play Croatia in June. They are now keen for Baric to face an inquiry over his comments.