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There are seven gay Premier League footballers, Justin Fashanu’s niece claims

There are seven gay Premier League footballers, Justin Fashanu’s niece claims

Justin Fashanu was the first openly gay man in football

It has been a long time after Justin Fashanu became the first openly gay soccer player in 1990. He committed suicide in 1998.

But there are at least seven gay men who play professional football, according to the niece of Fashanu.

Amal Fashanu told BBC Radio Five Live: ‘I actually know myself of seven. I will never, ever share their details.

‘I’m not going to out them because I would never do that.’

She added: ‘You want to be honest, even to help them out, but you just can’t do that. The football world is extremely dark.

‘I don’t even want to imagine being a footballer, what it must be like.’

In Major League Soccer in the US, Los Angeles Galaxy player Robbie Rogers is so far the only openly gay player. He came out in 2013 and announced his retirement from the sport. But he soon decided to return to the sport and has played without incident.

There have been a few others who have come out after retiring, but there is currently no other openly gay men in high-level professional football.