Football news - Olivier Giroud: It's impossible to be openly gay in football
Olivier Giroud says it is impossible to be openly gay in football.
The Chelsea striker recalled the time when former Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hiszlsperger came out in 2014 after he had retired, and insisted that watching that led him to believe the sport has a long way to go in accepting homosexuality.
"In the dressing room, there is a lot of testosterone, teasing and collective showers. It is delicate but that is how it is. I can understand the pain and the difficulty for guys in coming out -- it is a real challenge and it takes years of work on yourself.
"When I joined Montpellier, I got involved in the fight for tolerance and was on the cover of [French gay magazine] Tetu. At Arsenal, when asked, I wore rainbow laces in support of the gay community."
The Rainbow Laces campaign will go ahead again at the end of this month in the Premier League, while the EFL will also support the Stonewall initiative. But Giroud says this is just the start of the work that needs to be done.
" To say that there is still a lot of work to be done in the football world on this topic is an understatement. "
"It's the least one could say," Giroud said.
Giroud is a member of the France squad that will face Netherlands in Group 1 of UEFA's Nations League this Friday. Didier Deshcamps' World Cup winners will then play a friendly against Uruguay at Stade de France on Tuesday.