PL slam pundit’s homophobic tirade
THe Premier league were forced to reprimand one of their main TV rights holders yesterday after beIn sports pundit Mohamed aboutrika launched an offensive tirade against homosexuality, which he described as ‘against human nature’. The former egypt forward was speaking live on a beIn sports show broadcast in the Middle east and
north africa on Monday, when he criticised the Premier league’s rainbow laces campaign and called for Muslim players to boycott it.
The Premier league were quick to respond yesterday by holding talks with beIn during which they made it clear they strongly disapproved of aboutrika’s comments. The Qatar-based TV channel, who paid £375million last year for a new three-year Premier league deal, are understood to have spoken to aboutrika since the broadcast but he will not be sacked or formally disciplined. ‘We wholeheartedly disagree with the pundit’s views,’ a Premier league spokesperson said. ‘The Premier league and its clubs are committed to supporting lGBTQ+ inclusion and making it clear that football is for everyone.’ aboutrika, who won 100 caps for his country and became a national hero after egypt won the africa
Cup of nations in 2006, caused outrage by calling on Muslim players to boycott the rainbow laces campaign — an initiative in which all 20 clubs are showing support for the lGBTQ+ community by wearing coloured laces. ‘This phenomenon is not only against Muslim nature, but it’s against human nature,’ aboutrika said. ‘By doing this homosexuality, we are humiliating them (humans).’ In response, beIn stopped short of criticising aboutrika. ‘as a global media group, we represent and support people, causes and interests of every background, language and cultural heritage,’ a spokesperson said.