Brazilian football homophobia kissing controversy 0

A kissing gesture between football star and his friend has spurred a major controversy in Brazil, which in turn has exposing the entrenched homophobia in both Brazil and football.

On Sunday, Márcio Passos de Albuquerque, a Brazilian-Qatari soccer player known as Emerson Sheik, posted a picture on Instagram in which he appears kissing his friend, another man.

The next day a group of protesters gathered in front of Corinthians’ training grounds holding abusive banners “This is a place for men” anc chanted homophobic slurs “Go and kiss a woman”, “We don’t accept homosexuals”.

Marcio Passos de Albuquerque kissing-another man on instagram

Marcio Passos de Albuquerque kissing-another man on instagram

As more and more fans voiced their opposition to the striker’s kiss through social media, he was forced to issue an apology.  He later said “We posted the photo because of our friendship, the affection and respect, to break this machismo, this prejudice”.

“I’m sorry”, he said, “I had no intention of offending or hurting any supporters”.

Homophobia is common in Brazilian football.  In 2007, a São Paulo football player filed a lawsuit against a rival team’s coach who called him gay on national television.  Later the judge ruled that football was a virile masculine sport, one that was not fit for homosexuals.

Similar prejudice appears in the sport worldwide. Polls show that homophobic abuse is widespread.  In England, anti-gay chants can be heard in 70 percent of games.  In 2010, FIFA even awarded Qatar the 2022 World Cup, a county where homosexuality is illegal.

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