Cristiano Ronaldo (right) with Badr Hari
Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has been subjected to homophobic chants following tabloid gossip that he’s dating another man.
Elements in the crowd at a Barcelona vs Real Madrid match on the weekend were heard chanting “maricion” [“faggot” in Spanish] and “Cristiano maricon”.
The Portuguese athlete and sex symbol shook his head but had the last laugh after later scoring a winning goal for Real Madrid.
According to as.com, the Spanish Institute for Lgbtfobia has filed a complaint with the Anti-Violence in Sport Commission over the incident.
Institute Director Francisco Ramírez commented in a statement: “These deplorable and shameful acts are punishable, according to the Sports Law passed in 2007.”
He said that, “players and referees have been repeatedly subjected to homophobic insults and as of present, no action has been taken to set a precedent that such behaviour is completely unacceptable.”
Ramírez further insisted that, “The continual homophobic presence in Spanish football has to stop,” and condemned the Barcelona Football Club for its “silent hypocrisy”.
According to unsubstantiated tabloid rumours, Ronaldo has been in a relationship with Moroccan kickboxer and friend Badr Hari. The two men have often been pictured together on Instagram, although they have not addressed the gossip in the media.
Homophobia in football is an ongoing problem, with efforts to stamp out the scourge having limited impact. Homophobic chants were heard during at least four games during the Brazil World Cup in 2014.
In 2011 and in 2013, FIFA failed to investigate or take any action over allegations that the Nigerian women’s soccer team had targeted and banned lesbian players.
The issue hasn’t been helped by FIFA choosing Qatar, which outlaws homosexuality with harsh penalties, to host the 2022 World Cup, and Russia, which also has anti-gay laws, for the 2018 tournament.