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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 August 2007, 01:14 GMT 02:14 UK
Brazil judge in gay football row
By Gary Duffy
BBC News, Sao Paulo

Brazilian football fans
The judge is reported to have said fans would not have gay idols
A Brazilian judge faces legal action for homophobia after giving a judgment in which he said football was a masculine sport, not a homosexual one.

The judge is reported to have said no-one who had watched the golden era of Pele and others in the 1970s could ever consider having a homosexual idol.

His comments emerged in a case brought by Brazilian footballer Richarlyson.

Richarlyson, who plays for Sao Paulo, was named on national TV as a gay player by the manager of another team.

The suggestion that a leading Brazilian footballer was gay had already been the subject of considerable public speculation.

Richarlyson started legal proceedings against the manager, claiming that the public outing on television had damaged his image.

Controversial

In reaching a decision to effectively set the case aside, Judge Manoel Maximiniano Junqueira Filho said football was a virile masculine sport and not a homosexual one.

If you were a homosexual, it would be better to admit it or to conceal it completely, the judge was reported as saying.

However, if that was the case, it would be better to abandon the playing field, he added.

The judge said those who remembered the World Cup of 1970 and saw golden players such as Pele and Tostao would never consider a homosexual idol.

It was not shown to be reasonable to accept homosexuality in Brazilian football because this would damage the equilibrium and uniformity of thinking of the team.

A complaint is to be lodged about the judge's comments, which seem likely to become more controversial than the original legal action and his decision to shelve the case is also the subject of an appeal.


SEE ALSO
Sao Paulo holds Gay Pride parade
11 Jun 07 |  Americas
Protest over 'censored' gay kiss
09 Nov 05 |  Americas
Country profile: Brazil
13 Jul 07 |  Country profiles

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