German goalkeeping legend Oliver Kahn has weighed into the issue of homosexuality in football in an interview with People/Entertainment magazine Gala, opining that it’s still very much a taboo subject in German football.
He told Gala:
“It may sound sad, but I wouldn’t advise him [a gay player] to come out.”
Kahn added that homosexuality was no longer a “big deal” in society but said it would be “naive” to think that it was the same in professional sport.
Kahn goes on to say that the issue is a lot more complex than simply exhorting gay footballers to come out; and that the long-term impact and ramifications on the individual in the industry need to be strongly considered.
“The atmosphere is heated. There are rivalries, which can lead people to do nasty things. On top of that, how will it go down with sponsors? What will it mean for your career? The situation is more difficult than it appears at first glance.”
For such a ‘taboo’ subject as Kahn claims it to be, the discussion around homosexuality in football is probably more readily talked about in Germany than anywhere else.