A French amateur club has refused to register a homosexual player, leading to a gay football organization to ask the French Football Federation to impose sanctions.
The organization, Paris Foot Gay, said Wednesday that club FC Chooz should be punished
to help the football world to realize that homophobia is as bad as racism and anti-Semitism.
Yoann Lemaire, who became famous in his country for being the first openly homosexual footballer and also published a book on this topic, has played at Chooz for 14 years, but the club says it won't register him again to avoid any “trouble” with his teammates. It was reported that some of them had uttered homophobic notions in TV interviews last year.
A recent online survey found out that more than one in four British professional soccer players, coaches and referees personally know gay footballers currently in the game.
Researchers Ellis Cashmore and Jamie Cleland have sent the findings of the survey of more than 3,000 fans and football professionals to both the Football Association and the Professional Footballers' Association.
Cashmore found out:
Of the professional players, coaches and referees in the survey, over one in four (27 percent) personally know gay players currently in the game, though none have taken the step of coming out,
There are about half a million professional football players in the world. Not one of them is openly gay. Football fans are now challenging the game's governing organisations to oppose the culture of secrecy surrounding gay players.
Cashmore, a professor of culture, media and sport at Staffordshire University, said the survey showed fans and professionals firmly believed that gay footballers were pressured into keeping their sexual preferences secret by agents and their clubs rather than the fear of abuse from fans.
Only one footballer has ever announced he was homosexual during his professional career.
Justin Fashanu, who played for many clubs, including Norwich City, Nottingham Forest and Manchester City, and who faced racial abuse from the terraces, committed suicide in 1998, aged 37