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German Football Federation tells 34,000 gay players to come out

The DFB is sending a 28-page leaflet to thousands of LGBT footballers, with tips on how to prevent discrimination
German Football Federation's president Wolfgang Niersbach told the gay footballers to come out.
Photo by Beek100 and Hic et Nunc.

The German Football Federation (DFB) is going to send a pro-gay leaflet to all the 26,000 German football clubs.

The aim of the project is to suggest LGBT footballers still in the closet to come out.

According to the WHO (World Health Organization), LGBT people represent at least the 6% of the total world population.

Considering in every club there are at least 22 players (substitutes included), the leaflet could be addressed to at least 34,000 players. Some in smaller sides will already be open about their sexuality, but many will still be in the closet.

There are only two out male professional players in top-level teams in the whole world – Robbie Rogers who plays for LA Galaxy in the US and Anton Hysén of Utsiktens BK in Sweden. Lesbian players are better represented, however.

Utsiktens BK
Utsiktens BK

DFB’s president Wolfgang Niersbach said: ‘Every footballer who wants to come out is going to have our federation’s support.’

The 28-page brochure, written by professor Gunter Pilz, contains tips on how to prevent homophobia during matches, in the stadiums and in everyday life.

Niersbach added: ‘We wrote the leaflet without any prejudice. We’ve been very open to everyone.’

Meanwhile, the justice secretary Sabine Leutheusser Schnarrenberger has told the German national team coach Joachim Löw he should take part in the next national gay pride (in Germany called CSD, Christopher Street Day) in 2014.

The appeal, reported by the newspaper Bild, comes together with an interview to bisexual footballer Nadine Angerer.

Angerer said: ‘I want to tell you to come out, please. It’s really important we respect ourselves.’

Last week, German second division club St Pauli announced they will fly the rainbow flag permanently at their Hamburg stadium.

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