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Verdict: Information about Sergio Ramos and Philip Lahm’s homophobic attitude towards the LGBT community disseminated through social networks is FAKE NEWS.

Resume: A photograph circulating through social networks, captioned as: “Spanish national football team captain and world champion, Sergio Ramos, categorically refused to wear an LGBT armband whilst also world champion and German national football team captain, Philip Lahm, stated that there is no place for homosexuality in football,” is fake news. In his autobiography, Philip Lahm expresses fear that open talking about a football player’s sexual orientation may result in derogatory comments which might put that football player into a dire situation. Mr Lahm, in his interview with Bunte

magazine, also stated that he was not against playing side-by-side with homosexual teammates. In addition, no confirmation of Sergio Ramos’ refusal to wear the LGBT armband can be found on the internet.

Analysis kapitaniOn 15 October 2017, vice-captain of Georgia’s national football team and captain of SBV Vitesse (Netherlands, city of Arnhem), Guram Kashia, wore an LGBT armband at a Dutch football championship match. Mr Kashia’s decision has spurred wide controversy in Georgia. After the statement of the President of Georgia’s National Football Federation, Levan Kobiashvili, where he expressed his support towards Mr Kashia, members of the Georgian March organized a protest in front of the Georgian Football Federation on 31 October. They demanded an apology and burned an LGBT flag in protest. On the same day, the photo featuring football stars Sergio Ramos and Philip Lahm was actively being disseminated through social networks. The photo was captioned: “Spanish national football team captain and world champion, Sergio Ramos, categorically refused to wear an LGBT armband whilst also world champion and German national football team captain, Philip Lahm, stated that there is no place for homosexuality in football.” Georgian March member, Konstantine Morgoshia, also posted similar information

about Philip Lahm.

The aforementioned photo’s caption is deliberate misinformation. Philip Lahm discusses the issue of homosexuality in his autobiography and states and he does not advise gay football players to talk openly about their sexual orientation. Mr Lahm names a British football player, Justin Pashanu, as an example: “I fear that others might share the fate of Justin Pashanu who was driven to suicide after making an open statement about his sexual orientation.” In addition, in his interview with Bunte

magazine, Philip Lahm states that gay football players might become a target of derogatory comments and emphasized that he had no problem playing alongside homosexual teammates.

In regard to the captain of the Spanish national football team, Sergio Ramos, no confirmation of his refusal to wear an LGBT armband can be found in the internet. Of note is that in 2009, Ramos participated in a photo session organized by the Spanish magazine, Shangay.

The magazine is one of the most important brands for the LGBT community.

Therefore, the caption of the photo referring to Sergio Ramos and Philip Lahm’s homophobic statements does not correspond to the truth and aims to discredit the LGBT community.