Josh Cavallo – the first openly gay male footballer – receives homophobic abuse

Josh Cavallo – the only openly gay male top-flight footballer in the world – says he has ‘no words’ to describe his disappointment at being targeted by homophobic abuse during a match against Melbourne Victory on Saturday night.

The Adelaide United midfielder was widely praised by the football world last October when he became the first professional player to come out as gay during his playing career.

However, clearly not all parts of society are ready to live in the 21st century, as Cavallo was subjected to homophobic abuse after coming on as a substitute in Adelaide’s clash against Melbourne Victory on Saturday night.

Taking to Twitter after the abuse, Cavallo says he has ‘no words’ to describe his anger at the situation.

The Australian Professional League [AFL] is working with both clubs to investigate the incident.

They’ve promised to punish any individuals found to be involved with the chanting, which they described as ‘bullying’.

‘Our players, staff and fans have the right to feel safe on and off the pitch,” APL CEO Danny Townsend said.

“There is no place for bullying, harassment or abuse in Australian football and we have zero tolerance for this harmful behaviour.”

‘We fully support Josh Cavallo and want to ensure he can focus on his football performance, rather than on vile abuse. We will continue to concentrate our efforts on creating safe and welcoming A-Leagues for all.’

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