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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 18, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 11
Saudis fine soccer star over anti-'Gay' remark
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Saudis fine soccer star over anti-'Gay' remark

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Romanian soccer star Mirel Radoi was fined by the Saudi soccer association's disciplinary committee on March 14, after he accused another soccer star of being Gay.

In a TV interview broadcast in Europe, Radoi suggested that native Saudi soccer star Hussein Abdul Ghani might be Gay.

'I don't know why he keeps following me and annoying me during the matches,' Radoi said. 'He touches me like a girl & I don't know why. & Perhaps he does not like women, but men.'

Radoi has played for Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal club since 2009. He retired from Romanian soccer last year after he was disciplined for a confrontation with a teammate.

Abdul Ghani plays for Al Nasr club.

A second Al Hilal player, Christian Wilhelmsson of Sweden, received a formal warning for making a 'provocative remark' against another Al Nasr player, Ahmed Abbas.

Al Hilal played Al Nasr in a Saudi Crown Prince Cup semi-final match on March 10.

Saudi newspapers were outraged by Radoi's remarks attacking a popular native sports star. Many described them as 'racist.'

Same-sex relations are illegal in Saudi Arabia, and are often punished severely. Typically Gay men would be whipped and sent to prison, but in some cases they have been executed by Saudi authorities.

In September 2010 a Saudi diplomat stationed in Los Angeles asked for asylum in the U.S. because his sexual orientation was discovered by colleagues.

In 2005 the Saudi government conducted a sweep of Gay men.

Over 100 men arrested at a birthday party were sentenced to flogging and prison terms in April 2005. In May an additional 92 men were arrested, whipped, and sent to prison.

In November that same year, five men disappeared after being arrested at what authorities described as 'a beauty contest for Gay men.'

In 2000, the Saudis executed five Yemeni immigrant workers for being Gay, and sent nine native Saudi Gay men to prison.

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