Lippi scolded for comments on gay footballers

In this file photo Italy's national football team coach Marcello Lippi (2nd L) walks past journalists upon arriving at the Fiumicino international airport in Rome June 23, 2009. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito

ROME (Reuters) - Italy coach Marcello Lippi was rebuked by one of Italy’s leading gay associations on Wednesday for saying two members of the national team could not have an open homosexual relationship.

“Why, dear Lippi, couldn’t footballers openly experience gay love when they show their flirts with every type of showgirl in front of every TV camera?” said a statement on the Arcigay association’s website (

The 2006 World Cup winning coach had made his comments in an interview with Swiss media expert and journalist Klaus Davi published on the internet (

Reporting by Paul Virgo; Editing by John Mehaffey