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Ballack's agent brands national players 'queers'

The Local · 12 Jul 2010, 15:55

Published: 12 Jul 2010 15:55 GMT+02:00

Lawyer Michael Becker, a close adviser to Ballack since 1999, made the remarks two months before the World Cup, according to an essay in Monday’s edition of news magazine Der Spiegel.

The remarks have fuelled concerns that, in contrast to the much lauded racial diversity and tolerance within the national team, football remains a bastion of homophobia.

The essay’s author, Alexander Osang, wrote that Becker had said during a conversation two months before the World Cup at a restaurant in Luxembourg that he knew which players on the team were gay.

A few days later, Becker told a group of journalists and players’ managers at a match played by Ballack’s new club Bayer Leverkusen that there was a former national player who was going to expose a “bunch of queers” within the national team. Osang wrote that others present had merely reacted with nods.

Later, when Osang asked Becker if another national team player was also homosexual, Becker answered that he was “half-gay.”

Osang concluded that homosexuality was “a synonym for anything that Becker did not understand.”

Apparently that included the lighter, more elegant style of play encouraged under the leadership of Germany coach Joachim Löw.

Ballack, who was injured shortly before the World Cup, spent the tournament as a spectator. Although defender Philipp Lahm filled in as skipper, Ballack remains officially the captain of the national team.

Becker told daily Bild he would neither confirm nor deny making the remarks and merely said: “The colleague from Der Spiegel must clearly have misunderstood something.”

He did not elaborate. Whether Becker was talking about the private lives of specific players or simply using offensive language is not clear, however the remarks are likely to intensify concerns that professional football remains an area where homosexuality is a taboo.

Story continues below…

Dirk Mesch, spokesman for Bayer Leverkusen, the club where Ballack started out and to which he will return after leaving English side Chelsea FC, distanced the club from Becker’s remarks.

“At Bayer Leverkusen we have absolutely no resentment towards homosexuals,” he said.

The remarks were “personal statements by Mr Becker, which are not connected with Bayer Leverkusen,” Mesch added.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

16:53 July 12, 2010 by Portnoy
Since the head of the Bundesliga's referees was forced to resign this spring for sexually harassing his younger BOYFRIEND (a bundesliga referee), I hardly think anyone gives a great god-damn about who anyone falls in love with, really. Maybe Becker was dating the ref chap and is bitter?
17:55 July 12, 2010 by Edmond Schindler
Here- Here, I second that.
20:28 July 12, 2010 by Celeon
Who cares if Boateng thinks that ízil has a nice butt , for as long as they just keep playing football like that ! :-D

And after those beautiful goals of his, everyone on the team felt like kissing Müller anyway. Thats ok ! :-D
20:48 July 12, 2010 by JAMessersmith
I think it's funny that having two black guys, a Turk, and a couple Poles on the team counts as "diversity" in Germany. But to the point, this homophobia is coming from one guy. Consider what's going on in France right now... half the country is blaming their team's "diversity" for their national disgrace, which makes this seem rather insignificant.
22:50 July 12, 2010 by mikecowler
England team were queer secret agents...had to be as they didnt have a clue how to play against Algeria or Germany...Ballacks agents just bitter a probably in denial ha ha ha.....
10:07 July 13, 2010 by nepo77
This just in.All future televised England matches have been moved to the Gay Adult channel. Apparently, the sight of 11 idiots frequently getting hammered for 90 minutes was far too explicit for regular tv!
14:44 July 13, 2010 by petenick
Being gay is and should be a "non-issue" and all Mr. Becker does is to promote his vast ignorance and intolerance.
19:16 July 14, 2010 by cocovelvet
Its shocking how the idiotism of certain people can influence their thinking to such a high level of ignorance and intolerance, moreso in the 21st century. I thought homosexuality was widely acceptable in Germany ; so whats all this big fuss about .......... probably I was wrong ??!!
05:13 July 15, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Maybe Becker should also represent Mel Gibson. That would be a pair to draw to, and Gibson definitely needs a new agent since William Morris dropped him following his most recent tape-recorded racist tirades. Bigots belong together, preferably cloistered from civilized society.
16:33 July 16, 2010 by martinjohn
Spain won. They had less racial diversity than Germany, England, France, Netherlands. Do not know whether any were gay. But it raises the question whether it is individual talent or tribalism that wins out in the end in a game like soccer.
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