Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Wiki
Josh Cavallo has said he would be "scared" to play at the World Cup in Qatar next year.
The 21-year-old made the comments in a new interview with The Guardian after coming out publicly last month. He is now the world's only out gay professional footballer actively playing the sport.
The World Cup is due to take place in Qatar, where punishments for gay sex range from prison sentences to death, from 21 November to 18 December 2022.
"I wouldn’t really want to go"
Cavallo told the publication: "I read something along the lines of [they] give the death penalty for gay people in Qatar, so it’s something I’m very scared [of] and wouldn’t really want to go to Qatar for that."
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The sports star continued: “And that saddens me. At the end of the day the World Cup is in Qatar and one of the greatest achievements as a professional footballer is to play for your country, and to know that this is in a country that doesn’t support gay people and puts us at risk of our own life, that does scare me and makes me re-evaluate – is my life more important than doing something really good in my career?”
Cavallo plays for his home country's under-20s international side.
In his coming out video on social media last month, Cavallo said: "Growing up I always felt the need to hide myself because I was ashamed - ashamed I would never be able to do what I love and be gay.
"Hiding who I truly am to pursue a dream I always wished for as a kid."
The Attitude December issue is out now.