(Blogmensgo, gay blog of January 28, 2016) Alessandro Cecchi Paone, president of the Italian football club of San Vito Positano, calls on gays in the Italian football A-league to come out of the closet – be it players, coaches or officials.
One and a half years ago, 54-year-old Allessandro Cecchi Paone came out of the closet. His own club of Positano (which he had saved from bankruptcy) and other clubs welcomed his move with great respect.
Ever since then, he has criticized homophobia in football and has asked other professionals to come out of the closet, too. In an interview with the Gazetta dello Sport on January 21, 2016, he expressed his wish that coming-out stories in Italian football were not just limited to female football players and clubs in the lower leagues.
"Sarebbe ora che anche in Serie A ci fosse un allenatore, un calciatore o un dirigente che palesasse la propria omosessualità e diventasse un esempio da seguire."
Alessandro Cecchi Paone, president of Positano football club
(It is time now for a coach, a player or an official in the A-league to come out as a homosexual and serve as an example for others.)
His colleague Maurizio Sarri, coach of the neighboring club of Naples, recently insulted the coach of Inter Milan, Roberto Mancini, calling him a „faggot“ and a „queen.”
As a consequence, Sarri (57 years old) was suspended for two games -- preliminarily. The suspension is likely to be extended to four months, and he may have to pay a fine of €15,000 to €30,000 based on discriminatory behavior and sexually motivated insults.
Roberto Mancini said he was not gay but did not feel offended. Moreover, he would be proud to actually be gay in this context.
Currently, there are talks about a friendly match between the clubs of Naples and Positano whose proceedings would be in support of the fight against homophobia in football. This would allow to show how homophobia can poison the atmosphere – in general and particularly in sports.
As it seems, the presidents of the two clubs, Maurizio Sarri and Aurelio De Laurentiis have already agreed to such a friendly match.