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Arsenal boss: Football trailing behind rest of society in tackling homophobia

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Arsene Wenger concedes there is plenty of hard work to do if homophobia is to be reduced in football.

The Arsenal manager’s players will lace their boots with rainbow colours against Manchester City in the Barclays Premier League this weekend, in a show of support for Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign.

Wenger admits football has fallen behind the rest of society in the fight against homophobia.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Thursday, the Press Association reports Wenger said: “I think in some values, we are in front of normal society (and) with some we are a bit behind compared to what is the trend of society.

“This (tackling homophobia) is one where maybe we are a bit behind and we have to work on it, of course.

“Any discrimination I’m completely against.

“(Should women) train football teams? I’m for (that happening), if they are good enough. For me the only thing that is important is competence.”

Yesterday, former England women’s captain Casey Stoney said it could be some time before a high-profile male player is prepared to come out as gay.

“As a male player, when there are 50,000 people sitting in stands wanting to do anything to make you play bad – I can understand their fear,” she said.

Stoney, who came out as gay in February, told the Soccerex Global Convention in Manchester that the response she received has been “overwhelmingly positive” but she feels it would be much tougher for a male player to take the same step.

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