Igor Benevenuto becomes first FIFA-ranked referee to come out as gay

Brazilian referee Igor Benevenuto has become the first FIFA-ranked referee in football history to come out as gay.

Benevenuto, 41, announced during a Globoesporte podcast that he is gay and expressed his joy that he is finally ready to be himself.

In a statement to GloboEsporte, FIFA said: “FIFA welcomes and supports referee Igor Benevenuto and his decision to come out. As highlighted at other times, FIFA strongly believes that football is for everyone. And Igor striving to be true to himself is an important moment for football in Brazil and in other countries around the world.

“We hope this decision will encourage others and inspire greater diversity and inclusion in the “beautiful game.”

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