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Hostility to homosexuality is still rife in modern Football

November 14, 2010 - London

Twelve years after football's only openly gay player killed himself, his niece has started a campaign to break the grip of homophobia in Britain's football circles.

According to Sky News, Justin Fashanu, a player remembered for his talent on the field, is still the only professional ever to have had the courage to come out publicly.

"With the Justin Campaign, we aim to have a day where people can forget about these taboos and we can just get on with our normal lives," she told Sky News. If you are a gay footballer, you're a gay footballer. It's not my concern if you're gay. It's my concern if you play well and get those goals," Fashanu niece Amal said.

Chris Basiurski, of the Gay Football Supporters' Network, was earlier forced to join a gay team in a gay league because of the attitude his then work team-mates had when they discovered his sexual orientation.

"I was playing in a more mainstream league and when they discovered my sexuality, I was made to feel very uncomfortable. All the social side of it disappeared for me," he said.

Publicist Max Clifford claimed that the hostility throughout the game extended to the very top level, adding that gay and bisexual players are simply too frightened of the professional and social consequences to come out in public.

It is not just a British problem.

Just this week, Vlatko Markovic, the top man in Croatian football, said: "While I'm a president of the Croatian Football Federation, there will be no homosexuals playing in the national team."

In three weeks' time, Britain will know if it is to host the 2018 World Cup, but few in the game believe there will be any openly gay footballers in that tournament, even it if is still eight years away, the report said.


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