We have written before about Vlatko Markovic, the rabidly homophobic president of Croatia soccer, who has said among other things that gays can't be on the national team because “only healthy people play football.” Two lawsuits have been filed against him for his comments, with a Croatian court throwing one out a month ago.
Canadian blogger Keph Senett, who writes about soccer and LGBT issues, has started a petition drive to force UEFA, European soccer's governing body to force Markobvic, 74, out.
The UEFA has positioned itself as an organization with a commitment to equality. In 2008, the organization launched the Respect campaign, which “dovetails with programmes aimed at combating violence, racism, xenophobia and homophobia, as well as at nurturing fan support, intercultural dialogue, the environment and humanitarian relief.” More recently, in mid-February, the UEFA officially endorsed The Justin Campaign, a group dedicated to ending homophobia in football.
UEFA fined Markovic $14,500 for his anti-gay comments, and he is appealing the fine. Senett has an uphill climb since both UEFA and FIFA confirmed Markovic for a fourth term. She is seeking 2,500 signatures for an online petition to UEFA. You can read the petition and sign it here.