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Czech international soccer player Jakub Jankto: ‘I’m homosexual and I no longer want to hide’

The winger, who is on loan at Sparta Prague from Getafe, is the first top-flight player in Spain to publicly announce his sexuality: ‘Like everyone else, I want to live my life in freedom’

Jakub Jankto during a match with Getafe in August 2021.
Jakub Jankto during a match with Getafe in August 2021.Diego Souto (Getty Images)

Czech international soccer player Jakub Jankto, who is on loan at Sparta Prague from La Liga side Getafe, announced on Monday that he is gay, becoming the first player in the Spanish top flight to publicly declare his sexuality. “I’m homosexual. And I no longer want to hide myself,” the 27-year-old winger said in a video posted to social media. “Like everyone else, I want to live my life with freedom, without fear, without violence, without prejudice, but with love.”

There is still a great taboo on the subject of sexuality in soccer, to the extent that since the first public announcement made by an active professional player - Justin Fashanu in 1990 – there would not be another until October 2021 when Joshua Cavallo, an Australian midfielder who plays for Adelaide United, came out openly.

In May, 2022, Jake Daniels became the first active European professional footballer to go public over his homosexuality since Fashanu over three decades earlier. “I’ve known my whole life that I’m gay,” the Blackpool player, now 18, said at the time. “I now feel that I’m ready to come out and be myself.”

Jankto has previously played for Italian clubs Sampdoria and Udinese and has made 45 appearances for the Czech national team.

Sparta Prague’s official Twitter account retweeted the video and said “you have our support.” “Live your life, Jakub,” the club added. Getafe posted a message on the club’s social media: “Our utmost respect and unconditional support to our player Jakub Jankto.”

The Premier League also responded to the video with a comment saying: “We’re with you, Jakub. Football is for everyone.”

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