Czech winger Jakub Jankto shocked the football world when he revelaed that he was homsoexual nine days ago, becoming the first player to play for a Spanish side to do so.
The 27-year-old has explained that he no longer wanted to hide himself, and released the statement to the world, with the support of Sparta Prague, his loan club.
Speaking for the first time since in an interview with Mediaset, as carried by Marca, Jankto had not intention of hiding the fact that he faced discrimination.
“Is the world of football homophobic? Definitely, a bit yes, because if I’m the first footballer to come out of the closet, it’s like that.”
However, he had no regrets about his decision.
“The decision is very important and I am very happy.”
“For some it is a revolution, for me it is something absolutely normal. After 26 years with that barrier you can’t live the way you want, and after coming out of the closet I feel really free and it’s extraordinary. Many people are afraid of coming out of the closet. We are going to help those people too.”
Jankto received an excellent reception from the Sparta Prague fans in his first game after the announcement.
“They applauded me in the first game after leaving, so the feeling [of freedom] was maximal. I posted on Instagram that I had played with a smile after a long time. You can win, you can score a hat-trick, you can score goals, but with a smile.”
Although, he did admit that it had not been free from homophobic abuse.
“Especially when you play away from home, they come and say certain curse words, the ultras are like that.”
Jankto is the first footballler to come out while playing top level European football, following in the footsteps of Australian Josh Cavallo, and Blackpool striker Jake Daniels in England. Going forward, hopefully it will reach the point where footballers no longer feel they have to hide their lives in the first place.