Openly gay footballer Liam Davis has called Football Association chairman Greg Clarke "a bit of a numpty" for saying professional players who out themselves as homosexual would be taking a risk.
Clarke said last year that he would not advise a footballer to come out while still playing because of the abuse they would get from the terraces and social media.
However, Davis has urged stars in the sport not to fear revealing their sexuality - and says a group of players coming out together could ease the burden on those involved.
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"He's a bit of a numpty isn't he," t he Cleethorpes Town midfielder told the Daily Telegraph when asked about Clarke's comments.
"It's a very disparaging view of footballers. I'm sure it would be fine.
"There will be a right fuss when it happens. You can imagine the media reaction: the first gay pro? That would sell a lot of newspapers.
"Maybe it would be better if somehow you could share the workload.
"Let's be honest, it would be easier if there was a group of them coming out together.
"Apparently there's a group of about 20 who are working on this, who have confided in people."
Davis has admitted receiving abuse from opponents, but insists football's attitudes to homosexuality are increasingly progressive.
The 27-year-old has spoken out encouraging gay footballers not to worry about coming out, sharing his own experiences as part of UEFA's Equal Game campaign, to foster greater inclusion and diversity in the sport.
"My advice to a young gay footballer at any level or any standard is just to be themselves," said Davis.
"Don't over-worry and overthink things. I don't think it will be as big an issue as you think."
Davis does admit opponents have made derogatory comments about his sexual orientation, but insisted his team-mates have always defended him.
And he still believes footballers can thrive in being openly gay, despite isolated incidents of abuse.
"Footballers say things to try to get a reaction and that's maybe why I've had a couple of comments," said Davis.
"It doesn't make it right, it doesn't make it any better, but when you're on the pitch I think that's partly the reason why.
"My team-mates have always backed me up.
"When you're playing, it is just another game. My sexual orientation has never been a thought when I'm playing football.
"It has always been about just football. What we do on the pitch should stay on the pitch. What you do off the pitch is your life."
Underlining UEFA's stance against discrimination, president Aleksander Ceferin said: "We do not tolerate any kind of homophobic, racist or sexist behaviour, and we will always stand for values such as diversity, gender equality and social inclusion."
Piara Powar, executive director of Football Against Racism in Europe, hailed UEFA for addressing the issue of homophobia.
"The UEFA Equal Game film about Liam represents the first time that an international football governing body has addressed an issue that is still a taboo in many parts of Europe," said Powar.
"The film helps us all to understand that in football there is a place for all of us to be accepted whatever our background, and that homophobia and exclusion cannot be tolerated."
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