Three players ‘in contact with FA’ about coming out

British MP John Nicolson has said that three players are currently in talks with the Football Association about coming out as gay.

Nicholson unveiled the information at a Department of Culture, Media and Sport hearing into homophobia in sport. 

According to the BBC, the FA has denied Nicholson’s comments, but made it clear that they would fully support any player that chose to come out as gay. 

Sports minister Tracey Crouch told Nicholson at the hearing that "there has never been a better time" to come out, while in October, FA chairman Greg Clarke warned MPs that players would be the victim of “significant abuse” if they chose to reveal that they were gay. 

Crouch admitted that Clarke’s comments were "incredibly disappointing" and "strange", saying: "If someone were to decide to come out, they should feel like they are being supported by the authorities and that any abuse would be tackled."

Nicholson, meanwhile, confirmed that Clarke had been tasked to come up with a plan to combat homophobia in football. 

"I understand three players are in talks with the FA about coming out and they haven't done so yet," Nicholson said. "It's good to know that you're encouraging people to come out."

Responding to Nicholson’s comments, the FA said: "We have been and are working hard so that if a player felt they wanted to have the conversation about coming out, we would be there and offer any and all the support we could. Ultimately it has to be an individual's personal choice."

Justin Fashanu was the first former player in England to confirm that he was gay in 1990, while ex-Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger came out in January 2014 after he finished playing in England.

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