Ireland fans joint-most comfortable with having LGBT player in the national football team 2 years ago

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.

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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.