First gay Spanish referee quits due to abuse

Madrid, May 12 (IANS) Jesus Tomillero, who in March came out as the first openly gay referee in Spanish football, has confirmed he was leaving the game as the result of the continuing abuse received from players and supporters in the past two months.

Tomillero confirmed his decision in the Spanish press on Wednesday in the wake of a game he was refereeing in the Andalusian Under-19 league at the weekend between Portuense and San Fernando Isleno, reports Xinhua.

He said that after giving a penalty after San Fernando, one of their supporters verbally abused him.

“The worst thing was that everyone in the crowd laughed,” explained Tomillero, who had been a referee since he was 11 years old.

Tomillero, who lives in La Linea de la Concepcion in the southwest of Spain, gave an interview to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser on April 7.

He admitted that since revealing his sexuality he had received a lot of insults on the pitch, even from children. “The younger players are, the more intolerant they seem to be,” he said.



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