German gay footballers get support of Angela Merkel

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Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has become the latest high-profile figure to tell gay footballers that they should not have anything to fear in being open with their sexuality.

Speaking yesterday at a sports forum in Berlin, reports Mrs Merkel saying:

“I am of the opinion that anyone who sums up the strength and bravery – and we have a long tradition of this behind us in politics – should know that they live in a land where they have nothing to fear”.

She continued: “The fact that there are still fears for some people for their own situation means we need to send out a clear message: you must not be afraid.”

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness said it is only a matter of time before a Bundesliga player comes out.

“It will happen, sooner or later. All clubs are advised to prepare for this topic, so they will have good answers,” said Hoeness, speaking at the same event as Merkel under the slogan “Go your own way”.

The remarks come just a day after an anonymous Bundesliga player said he feared attacks from fans and even by other footballers, if he went public about his sexuality.

The mystery player also believes media attention about his private life would have a detrimental impact for him on the pitch.

Last year, Germany striker Mario Gomez said openly gay footballers “would play as if they had been liberated. Being gay should no longer be a taboo topic.”

But national team captain Philipp Lahm advised against it in his autobiography.

Back in 2009, former German Football Federation president Theo Zwanziger first said footballers should be supported if they want to come out and he repeated the call when he left office in January of this year.

York City FC player Clarke Carlisle recently told the UK’s Gay Football Supporters’ Network (GSFN) that gay footballers were “frightened” to come out due to “media” pressure.