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German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn says best for players to stay in closet

German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn says best for players to stay in closet

Retired Bayern Munich goalkeeper has told Gala magazine that it would still be harmful to a pro-footballer to come out as gay, advising them to stay in the closet if they did not want to harm their careers.

Kahn said that while homosexuality was no longer a ‘big deal’ in German culture, it was still ‘naïve’ for a player to think they could come out in 2013 and not damage their career prospects.

‘It may sound sad, but I wouldn’t advise him to come out,’ Kahn said.

‘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.’

Kahn warned that a gay player would have to deal with taunts from opposition fans every game.

Kahn’s comments come a year after an unnamed German pro-footballer told the media he was toying with the idea of coming out.

In the end he did not despite German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying the German people would support him.

‘He lives in a country in which he need have no fear of outing himself publicly,’ Merkel said in September.

In July of this year the German Football Federation announced plans to distribute pro-gay leaflets to all 26,000 German football clubs, telling footballers that they would be supported if they came out.