Daily Mail

PL slam pundit’s homophobic tirade

- By MATT HUGHES Chief Sports Reporter

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.

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