UEFA ambassador for diversity and change Clarence Seedorf sent a message to promote tolerance and acceptance, marking the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
The Dutch former footballer and multiple European Cup winner spoke about the role football can play as a catalyst for change, and the need for more tolerance and inclusion on the pitch and beyond.
Seedorf on football as a force for good:
As the world's most popular sport, football has the power to have social impact and to be a force for good. As UEFA's global ambassador for diversity and change, I call on everyone to be accepting of one another and embrace diversity.
To view Clarence Seedorf's message, click on the video player above
Thomas Hitzlsperger, the former German international midfielder, talked about his decision to come out as gay in January 2014. In this moving interview, conducted by UEFA social responsibility partner FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe) a few months ago, he reveals how his coming-out has changed his life for the better and underlines current issues that still need to be addressed to tackle homophobia in the world of football.
Hitzlsperger on his coming-out:
Well, it has certainly changed my life in a good way. It's a different life, of course, not playing football anymore. But also, being asked about it so often, it shows to me that it's very important.
Hitzlsperger on accepting homosexual players in football:
It needs to be talked about in the club teams. Of course the FAs need to address it. There is still a lot of work to be done, because I think we need to create an environment where every single player who is affected says I am actually very comfortable coming out because my team-mates don't have an issue. And they are the most important ones, first of all, because they are the ones you spend every day with.
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