Czech Republic international Jakub Jankto has become the highest profile current male footballer to announce he is gay.
Jankto, who plays for Sparta Prague on loan from Getafe, revealed his sexuality in a post on Twitter, saying: “I no longer want to hide myself.”
The 27-year-old midfielder has 45 caps for his country and has previously played in Italy for Sampdoria and Udinese.
In a video on Twitter, Jankto said: “Hi, I’m Jakub Jankto. Like everybody else, I have my strengths, I have my weaknesses. I have a family, I have my friends. I have a job, which I have been doing as best as I can for years, with seriousness, professionalism, and passion.
“Like everybody else, I also want to live my life in freedom, without fears, without prejudice, without violence, but with love. I’m homosexual and I no longer want to hide myself.”
A message at the end of the video read: “This is not entertainment. The purpose of this video is to encourage others.”
Jankto follows in the footsteps of Australian Josh Cavallo, who came out publicly in 2021, and Jake Daniels of Blackpool, who is the only current British male player to reveal he is gay.
Messages of support quickly followed Jankto’s post, with Sparta Prague saying on Twitter: “Jakub Jankto spoke openly about his sexual orientation with the club’s management, coach and team-mates some time ago.
“Everything else concerns his personal life. No further comments. No more questions. You have our support. Live your life, Jakub. Nothing else matters.”
The Premier League replied to Jankto’s tweet, saying: “We’re with you, Jakub. Football is for everyone.”
The Professional Footballers’ Association added: “Well said, Jakub. We’re all with you!”, while players’ organisation FIFPRO said: “Live your life, Jakub. Proud.”