Danish footballer Viktor Fischer slams fans for chanting gay slurs
Danish footballer Viktor Fischer has slammed football fans for chanting homophobic slurs at him—and said calling somebody gay is not an insult.
The FC Copenhagen soccer player was targeted twice in recent days by football fans from opposing teams who chanted homophobic slurs at him.
On Sunday, fans of Odense Boldklub shouted anti-gay slurs at him after their team was beaten by FC Copenhagen. The next day, he had slurs shouted at him again at a match he wasn’t even playing in.
Viktor Fischer: ‘The problem for me is that the word ‘homo’ was used as an insult’
“I experienced specific songs against me, directed at me by name, saying I was homosexual,” Fischer told TV2.
“That’s not the problem,” he continued. “I have nothing against being called one thing or another. The problem for me here is that the word ‘homo’ was used as an insult.
“That is a very, very bad culture for young people and generally for everyone who comes to a football stadium to see football.
“There’s something of a culture in elite sport, in football, which is based on just being tough, keeping quiet, because that makes you a strong sportsman.
“But it’s not about being a strong sportsman. It’s about the culture at stadia needing to be better. It’s about ‘homosexual’ not being an insult. It never should have been… and especially in 2019 in Denmark, it should not be anymore,” he said.
“I have nothing against being called one thing or another. The problem for me here is that the word ‘homo’ was used as an insult.”
– Viktor Fischer
The Danish Football Association (DBU) has supported Fischer’s comments and said “homophobia has no place—either on or off the pitch.”
The association said footballers should draw attention to harassment and abuse at matches so they can better respond to it.
Both FC Copenhagen and Odense Boldklub have joined Fischer in condemning the use of anti-gay slurs at matches.
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More needs to be done to tackle homophobia in sport
Peter Holk Svendsen, head of LGBT Denmark, also praised Fischer for standing up to the homophobic abuse, and said that more needs to be done by Danish football to tackle anti-LGBT+ sentiment. He said there was a lack of openly gay Danish footballers and pointed out that none are openly gay.
Homophobia in sport continues to be an issue for LGBT+ sport fans. The issue has gained significant attention in football circles in recent years. Last year, campaign group Football v Homophobia released new research that found that 63 percent of LGBT+ football fans had experienced or witnessed abuse at matches related to sexuality or gender.
The survey also found that LGBT+ football fans were reluctant to report incidents at matches.
The campaign’s director, Lou Englefield, said that LGBT+ fans pay the same as straight and cisgender football fans for tickets, but experience or witness anti-LGBT+ abuse.
“There is still work to be done to educate fans on the impact of their language. We need support for this work,” he said.