The European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation (EGLSF) made clear its support today for FC Midtjylland, the Danish Superliga Club, which earlier this week sacked goalkeeper Arek Onyszko following homophobic comments made in his autobiography. These comments include the statement "I hate gays, I really do. I think it’s f****** disgusting to hear them talk to each other as if they are girls. I can’t be in the same room as someone who’s gay. Look at them kissing each other – it’s sickening."
Co-President of the EGLSF Pepe Garcia-Vazquez says:
“We welcome this move by FC Midtjylland to make a stand against such a public display of hatred for gay people by one of its players. The decision to sack Mr Onyszko sends out a powerful message by one of Denmark’s leading football clubs that homophobia in the game is totally unacceptable”
Mr Garcia-Vazquez continues:
“Recent research in the UK published by the human rights organisation Stonewall clearly shows that the majority of fans find anti-gay abuse in the game unacceptable. Its good to see a professional club in Europe get behind the needs of its supporters and in such a public way.”
The EGLSF works as part of the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network to challenge homophobia in football and to improve the experience of LGBT players and fans. Recent initiatives have included input to the Deutscher Fussball Bund’s (DFB) campaign to tackle homophobia amongst football supporters. This initiative saw flyers handed out to fans at a German national game in Hamburg last month and further copies of the flyer distributed to all professional football clubs in the Country.