Cristiano Ronaldo is now the target of homophobic chants from fans at matches.
At a recent match between Real Madrid and Barcelona, the Portuguese soccer superstar was repeatedly called ‘maricón’ – a homophobic slur meaning ‘faggot’ – from sections of the Barcelona crowd.
It follows reports that Ronaldo is dating Moroccan kickboxer Badh Hari after it was alleged the pair were ‘more than friends’. This was not in proven in any way.
The Spanish LGBT Observatory has condemned the homophobic chants.
‘These deplorable and shameful acts are punishable according to the law of Sport (2007),’ Francisco Ramirez, the director of the LGBT Observatory, said.
‘For months the Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo has been the continued object of insults and malicious rumours from the tabloids, and also from sports journalists and amateur players to rival teams, in order to humiliate, offend and denigrate a great football player.
‘It is necessary to clarify that homophobia does not necessarily mean that people who suffer are homosexual, but only that other people believe it or use it to insult, harass and humiliate others.’
The State Commission against Violence in Sport was formed in Spain in 2008 and can propose fines or bans on federations, clubs and supporters found guilty of violence, racism, xenophobia and intolerance.
Reports that Ronaldo and Hari were together began with a Facebook photo. It featured Hari lifting Ronaldo in his arms, with the caption: ‘Just married. Always there to pick up you bro.’
These unfounded claims have ignored the series of model girlfriends that Ronaldo has dated and mentioned in several interviews.
When asked if he was gay due to his love of ‘grooming’ himself a few years ago, he said: ‘I’m at ease with my sexuality so it’s not a problem for me’.