English-born Swedish footballer Anton Hysen, who became the first player to come out in more than 20 years within the sport in March 2011, has said that he has received a number of anonymous calls from people claiming to be footballers who want to come out.
The fight against homophobia in football has been stepped up with the 'Rainbow Laces' campaign, promoted by UK-based homosexual charity Stonewall in collaboration with Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, which urged players to wear colored laces to promote awareness.
Hysen said that he has received a number of calls from self-claimed footballers wanting to come out, adding that he hopes that someone else will come out just like US soccer player Robbie Rogers did.
According to CNN, Rogers had revealed that he is gay but at the same time announced he was retiring from the sport, although he has since reversed his decision to quit and now plays back in his homeland with Major League soccer side Los Angeles Galaxy.
However, Hyson also said that he understood why people fear to come out publicly even now as there is still a lot of ignorance over the issue, adding that homophobic people have some preconceptions like every football player has to be macho and have a model girlfriend, and thus consider gay footballers as effeminate.
Although Hyson supported the 'rainbow laces' campaign, he however, said that is only a small step in bringing about a meaningful change in attitudes towards homophobia, adding that a homophobe would not change his mind even if all the players wear such laces.