LGBT rights group lodge complaint over Cristiano Ronaldo abuse
The group complained after the player received homophobic abuse over the weekend.
A Spanish LGBT rights group has filed a complaint alleging that Cristiano Ronaldo was subjected to homophobic abuse by Barcelona fans during a recent match.
The Spanish Observatory against LGBT phobia took up the complaint with Spain’s State Commission against Violence in Sport.
The group made the complaint after a number of Barca fans were heard chanting “maricon” – an offensive term used to describe a gay man.
Observatory director Francisco Ramirez lambasted the abusive fans, before defending the star player.
“These deplorable and shameful acts are punishable according to the law of sport,” he said.
“Cristiano Ronaldo has been the continued object of insults and malicious rumours regarding his sexual orientation from journalists, players and fans of rival teams in order to humiliate, offend and denigrate a great football player,” he added.
“It is necessary to clarify that homophobia does not necessarily mean that people who suffer are homosexual, but only that other people believe it or use it to insult, harass and humiliate others.”
The State Commission can impose punishments on clubs and supporters who are found guilty of such offences.
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Ronaldo’s love of fashion, accessories and grooming has made him the subject of gay rumours in the past and he has been voted a gay icon by several publications.
However, he has shrugged off the adulation, saying: “I’m at ease with my sexuality so it’s not a problem for me.”
Last year, a French TV host claimed that the football ace was in a relationship with his close friend, Badr Hari.
“Ronaldo takes three or four jets a week to see a friend in Morocco to cuddle,” he said, leading to shocked gasps from the audience.
His comments came after the Real Madrid striker and his new BFF jokingly shared a series of snaps of their recent bromantic holiday.