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Gay rights group hits out at AC Milan striker Cassano

An Italian gay rights association has condemned AC Milan striker Antonio Cassano after homophobic comments earlier this week.

The striker shocked many when he used an offensive term to describe any gay players who may be in the Azzurri squad.

He released a statement later that evening insisting he was "not homophobic," but the damage had already been done.

"The words he used in that Press conference were horrible," President of the gay rights association ArciGay Paolo Patanè told Radio Sportiva.

"It was such an ugly attitude that I have to wonder if footballers feel represented by those ideas. More than anything else, I noticed something extremely vulgar in Cassano's phrases and attitude.

"I hope Cesare Prandelli will leave him out for the next game or two, so he can send a signal. His denial is not enough.

"Cassano is a great champion and should behave that way with his words and attitude too. He needs to do more than a simple denial.

"The Federation cannot turn a blind eye to a situation like this. It would've been good today if the world of football had sent a signal.

"I think a spell on the bench would do Cassano good, even if we are certainly not out for revenge."

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