Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ballack's agent brands national players 'queers'

Footballer Michael Ballack’s agent has sparked controversy by reportedly launching a bizarre homophobic attack on the German national team, branding unnamed players a “bunch of queers.”

Lawyer Michael Becker, a close adviser to Ballack since 1999, made the remarks two months before the World Cup, according to an essay in Monday’s edition of news magazine Der Spiegel.

The remarks have fuelled concerns that, in contrast to the much lauded racial diversity and tolerance within the national team, football remains a bastion of homophobia.

The essay’s author, Alexander Osang, wrote that Becker had said during a conversation two months before the World Cup at a restaurant in Luxembourg that he knew which players on the team were gay.

A few days later, Becker told a group of journalists and players’ managers at a match played by Ballack’s new club Bayer Leverkusen that there was a former national player who was going to expose a “bunch of queers” within the national team. Osang wrote that others present had merely reacted with nods.

Later, when Osang asked Becker if another national team player was also homosexual, Becker answered that he was “half-gay.”

To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/sport/20100712-28455.html

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