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Man Utd keeper Lindegaard: Football needs gay hero

Manchester United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard has called on gay footballers to come out.

The Dane has criticised football fans for being "stuck in a time of intolerance" and spoken about the need for a "gay hero" in the game.

Lindegaard, a Danish international who has played seven games for United this season, wrote in his blog for Betfair: "As a footballer I think first and foremost that a homosexual colleague is afraid of the reception he could get from the fans.

"My impression is that the players would not have a problem accepting a homosexual.

"Homosexuality in football is a taboo subject. The atmosphere on the pitch and in the stands is tough. The mechanisms are primitive, and it is often expressed through a classic stereotype that a real man should be brave, strong and aggressive. And it is not the image that a football fan associates with a gay person.

"The problem for me is that a lot of football fans are stuck in a time of intolerance that does not deserve to be compared with modern society's development in the last decades.

"While the rest of the world has been more liberal, civilised and less prejudiced, the world of football remains stuck in the past when it comes to tolerance."

Lindegaard admits he discussed whether he should write and publish the blog with his girlfriend Misse Beqiri before deciding to do so.

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