Euro 2012: Antonio Cassano 'hopes' there are no gay players in Italy squad
The Italy forward Antonio Cassano has caused controversy by saying he hopes there are no homosexual players on the team at Euro 2012, and he then used a derogatory word to describe gays.
When asked about media reports there were two metrosexual players and two homosexual players in the Italy squad, the Milan forward said: "What's a metrosexual?" before adding: "Queers in the national team? That's their business. But I hope not."
Earlier this year Cassano's Italy team-mate Antonio Di Natale admitted that it would be difficult for any player to come out whereas the national team coach, Cesare Prandelli, has been supportive of gay footballers.
At Tuesday's press conference, the 29-year-old Cassano also discussed the possibility of his Milan team-mate Thiago Silva joining Paris St-German. He said: "To lose Thiago is hard, hard. It is impossible to replace him. Without Thiago, it is 50% of our team. It's a crime to lose Thiago."
Spanish fans allege Italy's Mario Balotelli racially abused
A Spanish football fans' group says that "about 200 supporters" racially abused Italy forward Mario Balotelli at a European Championship match.
The group, which is affiliated with the Football Supporters Europe network, says some fans "started monkey chants" when Balotelli, who is black, touched the ball during a 1-1 draw between Spain and Italy on Sunday in Gdansk, Poland.
Thomas Herzog, the group's spokesman, says in a statement that most Spain fans "tried to intervene very quickly and stop the fans in question."
Herzog says Spain fans are angry at the "small section" who insulted Balotelli.
Balotelli said before Euro 2012 that he would leave the field to protest racial abuse in Poland and Ukraine.