Gay footballers debate intensifies after ‘ballet’ quote

A public discussion over gay people in Croatian football sparked by controversial quotes of a Rapid Vienna legend has worsened as the vice president of a top-flight club said homosexuals “are for ballet”.Zdravko Mamic, vice president of champion team Dinamo Zagreb, said today (Weds): “I wouldn’t want gay people in my team either.”His statement, made in an interview with daily newspaper 24 Sata, comes days after Croatian Football Federation President Vlatko Markovic angered pro-homosexuality activists and NGOs by saying: “As long as I head the football federation, there will be no homosexuals playing in the national team.”Markovic played for Viennese side Wiener Sportklub in the 1960s before managing 32-time league champions Rapid in the 1985/1986 season.The 73-year-old also said he never met a homosexual footballer. “Luckily, only normal people play football,” Markovic said. The federation chief later claimed he was wrongly quoted, the Croatian Times reports.Now Mamic infuriated gay and lesbian pressure groups further by saying: “Gay people are for ballet. They can also be journalists and writers.”Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez caused headlines only last week by calling on gay colleagues to come out. Referring to Guido Westerwelle of the German Free Democratic Party (FDP) and Social Democratic (SPD) Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit, the German national team star said: “We’ve got a gay vice chancellor and a gay mayor of Berlin. Footballers should confess themselves as well.”Gomez claimed homosexual footballers would play “as being liberated” after their outings.His Bayern Munich teammate Philipp Lahm and Werder Bremen keeper Tim Wiese previously advised gay players not to make a stand.”Westerwelle doesn’t have to play in front of a crowd of 60,000 every weekend,” Lahm argued referring to fears of possible verbal abuse by crowds in the stadiums.No Austrian or German playing top-flight football has come out as being gay.