Brazilian official Igor Benevenuto, 41, has become the first FIFA-ranked Referee in football history to emerge as gay, after he announced during a Globoesporte digital broadcast that he is gay and expressed his joy that he is at last prepared to be himself.
FIFA said that Igor Benevenuto coming out to say he gay is a significant moment.
In a proclamation 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.”