In the wake of the furore over the Football Association’s anti-homophobia video, it’s been claimed that professional footballers in the UK refused to take part in the campaign.

The final generic video, which was meant to have been launched this week, aims to shock viewers through the use of homophobic language and behaviour, but the concept first proposed by activist Peter Tatchell was meant to feature football stars taking a stand against homophobia.

It now appears, according to The Independent, that Tatchell’s concept was scuppered due to the fact that high profile players were simply not prepared to appear in the film.

The newspaper reports that players and agents declined a request by the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) to take part, apparently out of fear of being ridiculed.

“Maybe in three, four or five years we will have more players involved. At the moment, no one wants to be the player putting their head above the parapet. It’s about the right time and the right place. Players give a lot; they get so many asks. Sometimes there has to be a ‘no’, and this was one of them,” a PFA source told The Independent.

The news confirms the difficulties in combating homophobia in the sport, said to be the final taboo in football.

The video’s launch was postponed this week, with the FA saying that it needed more time to integrate the film into its planned anti-homophobia campaign. View the FA’s anti-homophobia video here.

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