British football managers are being given lessons on how to deal with gay players, it has emerged today (15 January).
The Football Association has begun teaching professionals on how they would deal with the situation of a top player coming out to them.
While it is a generally accepted fact among managers that players’ sexuality should not matter, The Independent reports there is a division over whether any Premier League player should reveal their sexuality to the public.
The coaching course discussions have thrown up concerns a gay player would bring an overwhelming attention to him and to the club.
In a course during the summer, it is believed managers were asked how they would deal with that attention.
If they were managing a League Two club, the fourth highest division for soccer in the UK, then instead of a couple of journalists attending matches they could have 50 or more.
They were told techniques on how to close the issue down, rather than let the story run for weeks and affect the focus of a club.
The FA has also encouraged managers to always ‘respond positively’ to a player coming out.
It comes as former German national Thomas Hitzlspreger, who has come out at the end of his career, and English semi-professional sixth division player Liam Davis, who has come out at the beginning.
'I personally hope that over the next 10 years I’m not the only gay footballer out there,' Davis said.
'Nobody wants to be forced out, but I hope they can look and see there is someone out there who has done it.
‘I hope we can get to a stage where it is not a bad thing, that there is no problem and people just get on with it.’