chapter
Soccer
Pages 11

There is little doubt that homosexual behavior and homosocial desire are common in the soccer world. Fans routinely suspect or accuse players (usually on opposing clubs) of being gay, soccer stadium chants are filled with homosexual imagery, and soccer scholars routinely read soccer fans’ passion as latently homosexual. Few players, however, openly identify themselves as gay. Brazilian Pelé, for example-considered the greatest soccer player of all time-does not identify himself as homosexual or bisexual, but he has said he and most of his teammates were sexually initiated by older men. There are indications that Pelé’s experience is typical. Argentine soccer coach Jorge Solari said that it is common in Argentina for older players to sodomize younger players, yet neither the penetrator nor the penetrated is identified as homosexual.