Croatia’s Supreme Court has ordered the former head of the country’s football federation to apologise for discriminating against gay people.

In November 2010, Vlatko Markovic, then president of the Croatian Football Federation, caused a furore when he said in a newspaper interview: “While I’m a president of the Croatian Football Federation, there will be no homosexuals playing in the national team.”

He went on to say: “Luckily, only normal people play football”.

LGBT rights groups who sued Markovic told AFP on Tuesday that they had received the court’s ruling on the matter.

Markovic was found to have discriminated against the gay community and was ordered to publish an apology and the court’s ruling in the newspaper at his own cost.

The 75-year-old was also banned from making any further anti-gay statements.

Markovic was previously fined € 10,000 by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) for his comments.

In 2011, a Croatian court dismissed the discrimination case laid against him by the LGBT groups. They appealed and were finally vindicated by the Supreme Court today.

“This is a big day, we are extremely happy that the ruling confirming discrimination is final,” Marko Jurcic of the Zagreb Pride association told AFP.

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