PinkNews.co.uk Exclusive

Homophobia is unacceptable in an office so should not be advocated on a football pitch, former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright said last night.

Wright, now a football pundit and part time TV presenter, called on all discrimination to be outlawed as it makes it harder for players to perform.

Speaking at a World Travel Market tourism industry event yesterday, he warned that homophobia will always be around but should be tackled as part of all discrimination.

He told PinkNews.co.uk: “It doesn’t help you perform better if people are teasing you, you just want to go out on the pitch, do your stuff and finish.

“When people go into an office they don’t have to be subjected to discrimination whether the are homosexual, fat, black, thin, tall, small.

“It’s not going to happen to somebody in an office so why should it happen on the pitch.”

The English Football Association has a commitment to fighting homophobia as part of its anti-discrimination policy. This has recently been challenged by gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell after Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes was alleged to have called a referee a “poof” after being booked in a Champions League match.

The FA said it was a matter for UEFA.

Wright, who retired from the game in 2000, was speaking at an event promoting trips to Israel for Think Israel.com.

He received an invitation to the country, “It’s one of those places that you always say at some stage you would like to go there,” he said.