Ireland fans joint-most comfortable with having LGBT player in the national football team
A study by Stonewall, an LGBT equality charity, has found that Republic of Ireland football fans would be joint-happiest to see a gay or bisexual footballer in the national team.
The study, which included 38 sets of national fans across five continents, found that 87% of Irish fans would be comfortable if an Irish national footballer came out as gay or bisexual. This was the highest percentage among all the countries, alongside Iceland.
Across the board, the average number of respondents who said they'd be comfortable if a player for their team was to come out was 76%.
The lowest rates of acceptance were found in Egypt (10%), Saudi Arabia (11%) and the United Arab Emirates (13%).
The USA lagged well behind Ireland, Iceland and the United Kingdom (80%) — with an acceptance rate of just 63%, even less than their neighbours Mexico. But even the US scored way higher than Germany, where 59% of fans said they'd be comfortable, and better again than France where 56% of fans were positive about the possibility.
The news wasn't great from the hosts of next summer's World Cup, with just 47% of Russian fans saying they'd be comfortable with a gay or bisexual player. The results were even worse when it came to the hosts of the 2022 World Cup. Only 14% of Qatari fans said they'd be happy with a gay or bisexual player in their national team.
In total, the study polled 50,000 football fans from Forza Football. A graphic representation of the data can be found here.