Belgian footballer suspended after calling rival fans ‘homos’
A Belgian footballer has been suspended by his clubs after making homophobic remarks.
Striker Benito Raman, who plays for top-tier Belgian club KAA Gent, reportedly made the comments about supporters of a rival team after a match on Sunday.
Speaking after the 3-0 match with V Kortrijk, the 21-year-old player chanting “Alle Boeren zijn homos” (“All Boeren are homos’).
Boeren, meaning farmers, is the nickname adopted by fans of rival team Club Brugge.
A statement said from the club said: “KAA Gent dissociates itself entirely from the inappropriate statements Benito Raman made yesterday after the game.
“Such statements are completely contrary to the fundamental values of the club.
“KAA Gent considers diversity and tolerance to be of paramount importance. KAA Gent wants to be a club that is open to everyone.
“[The club] wants to apologize, first and foremost, to those with the gay community in general and to our gay supporters in particular.
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“KAA Gent also apologizes to the farming community, who may also feel targeted by these totally inappropriate remarks.
“Finally, KAA Gent also apologizes to the supporters of Club Brugge, and we hope that this incident does not compromise the good relations between the clubs.”
It continued: “The club has decided to suspend Benito Raman with immediate effect for an indefinite period.
“To assist Benito in the further development of his career, he will also receive additional psychological counseling to prevent further incidents, which are a result of his youthful indiscretion.
“There will also be an internal conversation with the whole squad, which is aware of the reputational damage the comments have caused.”
Raman took to Twitter to issue his own apology, writing: “I apologise to everyone I have hurt… Club Brugge my apologies.
“My apologies also for offending people [who are gay]. That was absolutely not my intention.”