World’s only openly gay active pro footballer is concerned for LGBTQ community ahead of Qatar 2022 World Cup
Hector Bellerin, the only openly gay active professional footballer in the world, has joined with the Premier League and the England football team to campaign for an inclusive LGBTQ game at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The former Swansea City, Barcelona and Arsenal star made it official this morning by signing the Premier League’s Equality in Sport Statement.
The first time Bellerin wore a football shirt was at the World Cup in South Korea during 2010.
Here is what he had to say:
“I always saw football through the lens of inclusion and equality. I was a young man when I first learned about homophobia and I was scared but ultimately it opened my eyes to the possibility of the world around me. I have always been and will continue to be an activist. I am not only fighting for the LGBTQ community in football, but the whole world. Football was meant to be a place to escape from our problems and to have fun.
“I do not believe in violence or discrimination. My passion is to improve the lives of all people and I have found that all people can be included in the beautiful game. To be part of a family and have a dream for the game that you love. I think it’s the biggest honour in the world to help make it happen.”
He added: “I want to play in a game where everyone is able to be part of the family, and where we are all equal.”
He also urged the Premier League to take a public stance on discrimination for the whole LGBTQ community following the Grenfell tragedy.
Bellerin said: “At this World Cup we need to be focused on the real issues, like sexual exploitation and abuse. I can’t think of an event in the footballing calendar where we are going to be treated with such contempt, so I’m delighted that the Premier League has shown leadership and shown we all share each others’ passion for equality.
“At the first World Cup in South Korea, I was made to feel very uncomfortable as