Italian Players Union president Damiano Tommasi has advised gay footballers not to publicly come out, describing homosexuality as “taboo”.
The former Roma star feels that players expressing their personal sexuality is to be discouraged as it could cause embarrassment and professional difficulties.
“Homosexuality is still a taboo in football in the sense that there is a different kind of cohabitation to other professions,” Tommasi told AFP.
“Coming out’s to be discouraged. The fact of being identified or singled out as ‘the one who is’, regardless of your profession, whether journalist, footballer or politician, I don’t think it would be an advisable path to take.”
“Expressing your personal sexuality is difficult in every professional environment, and even more so for a footballer, who shares a changing room with his team-mates, and hence also his intimacy with others.”
“In our world it could cause embarrassment. In a sport in which you get undressed it could cause an extra difficulty in cohabitation.”
The 37-year-old Tommasi made 25 international appearances for Italy during his playing career.