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Croatian court condemns football chief for gay hate

Vlatko Markovic, former president of the football federation, said: 'Footballers are not gay, they are healthy people.' Now tribunal rules he must apologize
Vlatko Markovic has been condemned by the Croatian Supreme Court for his homophobic comments.

The Croatian Supreme Court has ordered the former chief of the HNS, the national football federation, to publicly apologize for his homophobia.

Vlatko Markovic, 75, said to a journalist asking him if he had ever met a gay footballer: ‘No, fortunately football is only played by healthy people.

‘As long as I am president, I won’t permit any gay footballer.’

Now a tribunal has banned Markovic from any further discriminatory comments and ruled he must pay to publish both his apology and the court’s ruling in local newspapers.

Markovic quit his job last July. He made the homophobic comment to the Vecernji List daily newspaper.

Even though Markovic apologized for his comments some days later, several Croatian LGBT associations sued him for discrimination.

The European Football’s Association had already fined Markovic over his remarks.

A court in Zagreb rejected the case last year, but the associations appealed to the Supreme Court.

A group of gay activists issued a statement following the court’s decision: ‘Now we are very happy, this is a victory.’

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