There have been several reports in recent weeks over how the FA are gearing up for a full-on offensive against homophobic behaviour, in an attempt to attack the unsavoury behaviour in much the same way that racism is being kicked out of football.
But while efforts are still gaining momentum in Britain, over in Italy national manager Marcello Lippi has opened a can of words by taking questions on the taboo subject of gay footballers, claiming that none exist.
Lippi: “I don’t think there are any gay players, or at least in 40 years of my career I have never met any. It could well be that there are a few with these tendencies, but they don’t go around telling people about it. Considering the way football players are, it really would be a complicated condition to deal with in the locker room. If someone came to me and confessed they were gay, I would advise them to not let any of that affect them, just concentrate on their profession and feel free to do what they want in their private lives.”
One thing Mr. Lippi should be confident of is that no footballer will choose him as their confidant to discuss their sexuality with.
Making this story that much more interesting though is the latest scandal to rock Italian football, with a rent-boy claiming to have Serie A footballers on his books.
The unidentified whistle-blower called “Victory,” said to be an ex-third division player, agreed to an interview on TV station La 7 to tell his story.
Victory: “I have about 30 clients who are footballers and I would say that a dozen are Serie A and national team players – several times I have been asked to take part in group sex sessions. They all know I am a footballer as well but they like me because I am discreet. A lot of them are bisexual, they are married or have girlfriends. They have a respectable image but none of them will ever admit to being gay, not for the time being anyway.”
A report (in Italian) into both Marcello Lippi’s comments and the “Victory” scandal can be seen here.