Spain’s first openly gay referee quits due to homophobic abuse
Jesús Tomillero has decided to leave refereeing 14 months after coming out.
Spain’s first openly gay referee has walked away from football, insisting he “cannot take any more”.
Jesús Tomillero took the decision after he was subjected to a torrent of abuse following his decision to give a penalty during a match between Portuense and San Fernando Isleño last weekend.
Tomillero told the newspaper El Español he has been subjected to abuse since coming out last March and that last weekend was the final straw.
Soon after Tomillero gave a penalty, he says someone from among the visiting supporters shouted: “That’s that poof who was on the telly,” adding, “you can stick the goal up your arse, you f**king poof”.
The referee said the worst thing was that “everyone in the crowd laughed”.
He communicated his decision to quit football to the Andalucían football federation soon after.
Tomillero came out following an incident that took place whilst he was refereeing a game between two teenage sides in last year.
“The game was going on normally until the kit man of the local team got angry about an offside offence and began to protest from the sidelines without stopping,” he explained.
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After his attempts to get the man to calm fell on deaf ears, the man stepped up his homophobic slurs.
Tomillero says the man then told him: “You’re a c***sucker and you take it in the a**, you fagot. I’ll wait for you outside.
He later described it as “absolutely incredible” that the offending kit man got only a nine-game ban when “football is educating 14- and 15-year-olds”.
Welsh gay rugby referee Nigel Owen has also recently discussed the effects homophobia has on the world of sport.
He has previously spoken out to encourage rugby fans to condemn homophobic abuse.