Croatia: ex football chief convicted of homophobia

Markovic had said no place for gays in football

06 November, 13:45

Vlatko Markovic Vlatko Markovic

(ANSAmed) - ZAGABRIA, 6 NOV - Ex Croatian Football Federation president Vlatko Markovic must make a public apology to the gay community after the Supreme Court found him guilty of homophobia Monday. In a 2010 interview with newspaper Vecernji Markovic remarked that he would never accept the existence of gay football players.

He had never met a gay footballer, he said, because "fortunately, only healthy people play football". Responding to a question about whether a gay footballer could represent the Croatian team, Markovic replied, "absolutely not while I'm still President". Markovic's presidency of the Croatian Footballing Federation began in 1998 and ended in July last year.

Gay rights groups accused Markovic of discrimination claiming that his remarks had excluded gay players access to the national team. Following yesterday's court ruling Markovic must publish an apology in the press. He is also banned from making similar discriminatory comments. In 2010 UEFA punished Markovic for his remarks with a 10,000 euro fine.



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