Czech Republic midfielder Jakub Jankto says came out as gay on Monday, saying that he “no longer wants to hide” his sexual orientation. 

The Sparta Prague midfielder, 27, made the announcement on Twitter on Monday. “Like everybody else, I have my strengths, I have my weaknesses, I have a family, I have my friends,” he said. “I have a job that I have been doing as best as I can for years with seriousness, with 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 am homosexual and I no longer want to hide myself.”

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Who is Jakub Jankto?

He was born on January 19, 1996. He signed for Udinese from Slavia Prague in 2014 but went on loan to Serie B side Ascoli in 2015 without making his league debut for the team.

Jankto has 45 senior caps for his nation. the player, who is on loan from Spanish club Getafe, became the first current international in men’s football to publicly come out of the closet. Since joining Sparta Prague in August Jankto has made 10 league appearances for the team, scoring once and providing one assist.

The majority of his club career was spent in Italy with Udinese, Ascoli, and Sampdoria. He signed up for the Spanish side Getafe in 2021. He scored four goals in 45 appearances after making his senior debut for the Czech Republic in 2017. 

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Support from Football Associations:

Supportive comments poured in shortly after Jankto’s post, with Sparta Prague tweeting:  “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.”

“We’re with you, Jakub. Football is for everyone,” the Premier League tweeted in response to Jankto.

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The Professional Footballers’ Association added: “Well said, Jakub. We’re all with you!”, while players’ organisation FIFPRO said: “Live your life, Jakub. Proud.”