By Nick Harris
17 November 2010
Football’s European governing body Uefa has open disciplinary proceedings against Vlatko Markovic, the president of the Croatian Football Federation who caused outrage with a recent interview saying no gay players would represent his country during his reign.
Uefa will examine whether Markovic was guilty of making the homophobic comments as reported, and as such whether he is guilty of misconduct. He could face a fine or even be prevented from holding any Uefa office if found guilty. “The case will be dealt with by the Uefa Control and Disciplinary Body on 25 November,” Uefa has confirmed to sportingintelligence in a statement.
In an interview published recently, Markovic said: “While I’m president of the Croatian Football Federation, there will be no homosexuals playing in the national team.” And when asked if he had met a gay footballer, he added: “Luckily, only normal people play football”.
His remarks were condemned at home and abroad, including by the anti-homophobia Justin Campaign, and the Professional Supporters’ Association senior executive on equality issues, Simone Pound. The Gay Football Supporters Network also condemned Markovic’s views.
Markovic then issued a statement of apology on his federation’s website, saying he was “sorry that my comments have been in any way misinterpreted”, but at a subsequent public meeting said: “I’m f**king sick of you reporters.”