Poll: World backs gay footballers

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A survey of 30,000 football fans from around the world shows widespread, majority support for any international player thinking about coming out as gay.

The anonymous poll, organised by gay rights charity Stonewall and the makers of the app Forza Football, found 79% of respondents in Denmark and Sweden said they would be comfortable with a gay international, closely followed by the United Kingdom at 73%.

The figure dropped to 53% and 52% for Germany and the United States.

Portugal and Italy were higher at 69% and 68% respectively.

“Over the last 10 years we have seen great strides in attitudes towards lesbian, gay and bisexual people,” Stonewall’s Head of Policy Sam Taylor told the Guardian. “Sadly, our national game has not moved as far or as quickly as other parts of society. It’s clear that more needs to be done to tackle homophobia not just in football, but sport more generally.

“Stonewall will continue to work with the professional bodies and clubs at all levels to improve the game for gay players and gay fans. These stats show that our mission is just as vital today as ever.”

Former England defender Graeme Le Saux earlier this month said that football was making progress in tackling homophobia.

On Sunday, Sky Sports was forced to apologise after former England manager Terry Venables made a homophobic joke live on air.

The World Cup begins next month in Brazil.