Betis duo Ruibal and Iglesias blast homophobic abuse

Real Betis wide man Aitor Ruibal was attacked with homophobic abuse for carrying a clutch bag at a wedding (JORGE GUERRERO)

Real Betis players Aitor Ruibal and Borja Iglesias strongly criticised homophobic attacks from social media users late Sunday after being pictured holding bags at a wedding during the weekend.

Wing-back Ruibal held a small clutch bag, while Spanish international striker Iglesias wore a saddle bag on his shoulder in a picture which attracted aggressive online comments.

“Following the frustrated attempts by a vociferous minority to ridicule my team-mate Borja Iglesias and myself, in reference to our clothing as well as its supposed link to our sexual orientation, I just want to underline the importance of maintaining respect for any person, regardless of their sexual orientation or any other kind of orientation,” wrote Ruibal on Twitter.

The 27-year-old, known for his daring fashion choices, said society needed to reject any kind of “phobia”.

“(I want to) condemn homophobia, which obviously still exists to a greater or lesser extent, and fight for its eradication,” continued Rubial.

“Those who continue to display this kind of behaviour at this stage urgently need help. The problem lies with them because of their intolerance and their complexes.”

Iglesias, 30, applauded his team-mates’ words and issued a message of his own.

“To those of you who are still in prehistoric times, I send you lots of encouragement, it must be very difficult not to evolve and to continue conditioning oneself instead of enjoying the preciousness of life,” he wrote.

Few professional players have openly come out as homosexual in the football world.

Czech midfielder Jakub Jankto became the first top flight player in Europe to do so in February, while on loan at Sparta Prague from Spanish side Getafe.

However in April he was released by the Czech club after being arrested for driving without a license and is now taking a break from football to focus on his health.



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