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Gay players in Premier League would get respect - Pogba

24 August 2017 00:19

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba said he had not met a gay footballer in the Premier League but added any player who came out would have his respect.

The France international was speaking at the launch of UEFA's RESPECT campaign in Monaco, where stars of the game were helping to promote diversity, fan culture and accessibility for everyone in football.

Former Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger is the only Premier League player to have openly declared his homosexuality, but did so after retiring from the game.

When asked whether the league would provide a safe environment for a gay player, Pogba said: "That's something that I've never seen but why not? It's a human being.

"What he does in his private life has nothing to do with the player. You just have to respect him. Because he respects you, you respect him. That's it.

"It's all about respect. It's all about equality everywhere in the world. We are all equal when we play football."

Pogba was also asked about the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the concerns that have been raised about potential racism.

The 24-year-old accepted the responsibility that players carry for spreading the right message to supporters, saying: "We can play with Chinese people, African guys, French, American, but we're all equal when we do what we love on the pitch, and that's the message we want to give to everyone.

"It's a big thing, the World Cup, and we all play to win. But there has always been the respect on the pitch and outside the pitch and we hope that nothing is going to happen.

"Hopefully nothing will happen but we can just talk, help each other, and talk about racism and equality on the pitch. We can't really do anything about it but give everyone a good message to avoid those things."

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