Italy forward Antonio
Cassano apologised on Tuesday for saying he hoped there were no
homosexuals in the national team.
Asked at a Euro 2012 news conference earlier in the day about
media reports there were two "secret" gays in the Italy squad,
he said: "That's their problem. I hope there isn't one in the
After criticism from gay groups, Cassano issued an apology
through Italian state news agency ANSA.
"I am sincerely sorry that my comments have caused
controversy and protests among gay groups. Homophobia is not a
point of view that I share. I didn't want to offend anyone and I
absolutely don't want to put a person's sexual freedom under
"I only said that it was a problem which was nothing to do
with me and I don't let myself express judgements on other
people's choices, which should all be respected."
The often outspoken Cassano also caused a stir by hinting he
might leave AC Milan.
Milan are in talks about possibly selling Thiago Silva to
megarich Paris Saint-Germain and Cassano said his side may struggle
to compete at the very top if they cash in on the Brazilian.
"To lose Thiago is hard, hard. It is impossible to replace
him. Without Thiago, it is 50 percent of our team. It's a crime
to lose Thiago," the 29-year-old told the news conference.
"At the end of the Euros I will see if I remain at Milan or
I leave. I don't know."
He indicated he might have to consider a move if Milan
bought Manchester City forward and Italy team-mate Mario
Balotelli and said his happiest times were at Sampdoria, where
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