Josh Cavallo has spoken of his pride in seeing English teenager Jake Daniels come out as gay, and cite the Adelaide United player as an inspiration.
Blackpool midfielder Daniels, 17, came out on Monday – the first English professional footballer to do so for more than three decades. He
“I want to stop and take a moment to acknowledge Jake’s announcement and say how very proud I am for his bravery,” Cavallo told the Guardian newspaper.
“It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that my story has helped guide Jake to be his true self.
“It’s touching to see the millions of people that my story has impacted and inspired around the world, and to see it help evolve the world game at all levels, is fantastic. This world and the game of football has a place for everyone. Love will always win.”
Daniels had said of his decision: “It’s a step into the unknown but I’ve been inspired by Josh Cavallo, [England non-league player] Matt Morton and athletes from other sports, like [diver] Tom Daley, to have the courage and determination to drive change.”
British royal Prince William said he hoped more players will have the confidence to be open about their sexuality after Daniels’ announcement.
“What Jake has done takes courage and will hopefully help break down barriers that have no place in our society,” William, who is president of the Football Association, wrote on the Kensington Palace Twitter account.
He added: “I hope his decision to speak openly gives others the confidence to do the same.”
In France, however, Idrissa Gueye, of Paris St Germain and Senegal, has been accused of refusing to play in a match because he would have had to wear a rainbow-coloured shirt number.
Gueye did not play at Montpellier last weekend with PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino citing “personal reasons” to justify his absence on the field.
For the second consecutive season, clubs in the country labelled shirt numbers with the rainbow flag, the symbol of the LGBTQ movement. Gueye missed the corresponding match last season citing a bout of gastroenteritis.
French radio RMC first reported why Gueye skipped the match.
The Rouge Direct group, which fights homophobia in soccer, called on the French league and PSG to ask Gueye for an explanations adding a suspension should be considered.
“Homophobia is not an opinion but a crime,” the group said.