Soccer-Gay rights group to tackle homophobia during Euro 2008

VIENNA, March 4 (Reuters) - An Austrian gay rights group has launched an international poster competition to raise the issue of homophobia in football during June’s European Championship.

The Vienna-based QWIEN organisation said on its Web site ( that a jury would select the 50 best posters to put on display in the city during the tournament being co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland.

“According to statistics five percent of the total population is gay,” the organisation said in a statement announcing the competition.

“As a result therefore, of the 500 professional players in the Austrian football league 25 should be gay. However there is not one gay professional player in Austria... who openly admits his homosexuality.

“By issuing a Europe-wide poster competition we are making an otherwise taboo topic public during the period of Euro 2008.” (Writing by Mark Ledsom in Berne, editing by Justin Palmer)