Monday, 30 July 2007

UEFA: Albania coach fined for his homophobic comments

UEFA is sending long overdue signal that it will not tolerate homophobia in football.

Back in 2004, then Croatia national coach Otto Baric, who currently manages Albania national team, said he could never work with a side that includes a gay player, because he felt it was wrong:

"There is no place for homosexuals in my team. Homosexuality is not good,” he said in an interview to local Croatian press.

Gay football fans (and not only) and human rights activists were outraged and demanded Baric to face an inquiry over his comments.

From UEFA press release:

30 July 2007

Albania coach Otto Barić has been fined €1,825 (CHF 3,000) by the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Committee for discriminatory remarks made in a 2004 newspaper interview.

Newspaper interview
The committee heard that Barić gave the interview to a Croatian newspaper while coach of the Croatian national team. The interview contained comments in relation to homosexuality. No appeal may be made against the verdict in the case, which UEFA said had been submitted to them by the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) movement. The case has been dealt with now as Barić had no coaching engagement between the posts in Croatia and Albania.

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