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FOOTBALL

Bærum midfield gets first red-card for ‘gay’ jibe

A Norwegian footballer over the weekend became the first player ever to be sent off the field for using a homophobic slur, after a referee gave him a red card for calling an opponent “gay”.

Bærum midfield gets first red-card for 'gay' jibe
Simen Juklerod on the field. Photo: Bærum SK
Bærum SK midfielder Simen Juklerod was kicked out of the Sunday game 25 minutes before the end, because he used the term “gay” in an offensive manner.
 
The abuse came after Juklerod’s rival accused him of diving to win a free kick, while the score was still 2-2.
   
“I regret what I said,” Juklerod later told Norway's VG newspaper. “I didn’t at all intend to hurt anyone. It happened in the heat of the moment. There were many verbal exchanges, and I went too far.” 
   
“When someone says something like that, he needs to be punished. The referee was right.”
   
Under Norway’s footballing rules, players who use insulting or offensive language or gestures should be kicked out of the match.
   
On Tuesday evening, the national association’s disciplinary committee decided to keep Juklerod off the field for two more games.
   
The offending player’s club meanwhile distanced itself from his actions.
   
“We do not accept that our players call other players gay or anything else. Many stupidities are said during a game, but we have zero tolerance on the issue,” Juklerod’s club said on its official Twitter account, vowing there would be “consequences”.
   
Bærum SK eventually scored a third goal and won the game.
 

LESBIAN

Oslo Pride cancels street festival over coronavirus fears

Oslo Pride has cancelled this year's street parade, announcing plans to instead celebrate the city's gay, lesbian and transgender people with a virtual festival.

Oslo Pride cancels street festival over coronavirus fears
The parade normally attracts 450,000 people. Photo: Martin Fjellanger/Oslo Pride
Fredrik Dreyer, Chairman of Oslo Pride, said that in the current “frightening and unreal” situation, it was impossible to go ahead with the physical festival which had been due to take place between June 19 and June 28. 
 
“It is our absolute last resort and we have turned over every stone in the hunt for a possible solution, including a postponement or a change in date,” Dreyer said in a press release
 
“It would not be responsible for us to hold the physical events during Oslo Pride given the dangers posed in terms of spreading infection.
 
“Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean there will be no Pride – there will! We are far more than just a festival – and you’ll see that this year too.” 
 
 
The decision to cancel a parade in mid-June will raise further questions over the government's delay in taking a decision over the children's parades that form the centre of National Day celebrations on May 17. 
 
“We know that this is a decision we have to take, but we want to know a little more first,” Justice Minister Monica Mæland said in a press conference on Wednesday afternoon. 
 
As many as 450,000 people take place in the city's Pride march every year, making it one of the most colourful and well-attended events in the city each year. 
 
In the press release, Dreyer said that his organisation was already planning “alternative events to show the strength of our community”. 
 
“We will be live-streaming debates to showcase the breadth of our movement and the diversity in our community. We will continue to make our mark as norm breakers across all social media, and we want you on board too!” he said.
 
 
Ole Prin-Sand, Head of Pride Art, said he was “heartbroken” that the physical festival had been cancelled. 
 
“But we are excited about and see great potential in engaging with an audience across the country through the use of digital solutions,” he said. 
 
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