Ahead of the Russia World Cup next year, we've partnered with Europe’s leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) equality charity, Stonewall, to ask over 50,000 Forza Football users, from 38 countries across 5 continents, about their attitudes towards gay & bisexual players, and homophobia in the sport.
As for areas with the lowest scores, just 10% of Egyptian fans surveyed are comfortable with the idea of a gay or bisexual footballer representing ‘The Pharaohs’.
While same-sex relationships are not explicitly illegal in Egypt, members of the LGBT community can be arrested in public on charges of "debauchery", "immorality" or "blasphemy".
Comparing the findings with 2014’s previous study with Stonewall, we can see that attitudes to gay football players has markedly shifted in just a three-year period.
The hosts of the 2018 edition of the FIFA World Cup have seen the largest increase in comfort with gay or bisexual national team players since being asked in 2014.
47% of Russian football fans would now be accepting, compared with just 21% in 2014 - an increase of 26%. However, this score still sees Russia in the bottom 10 nations of fans surveyed.
The largest decrease comes from the World Cup’s previous hosts, Brazil, with a drop of 7% from prior to the tournament in 2014.
60% of Brazilians still feel comfortable with a gay or bisexual footballer for Seleção, compared with 67% previously.
With LGBT rights being big talking points around the next two FIFA World Cup tournaments, fans were asked whether consideration of these rights should have an impact on which host nations are selected for international tournaments.
Globally, 64% of all fans surveyed believe that LGBT rights should be a considered factor.
The education of fans on the rights of the LGBT community can come from many different sources, one of which can be local football teams.
Fans were asked whether they felt clubs should play a part in that education process, with 68% surveyed worldwide believing they should be.
Bundesliga fans in Germany are 12% below the global average in support for this idea, as well as the lowest amongst Europe’s top five leagues, with 56% agreeing that education should come from football clubs.
The Rainbow Laces campaign has been running in the UK since 2013 and has grown year-on-year in terms of exposure and support.
The campaign involves players, fans and other personalities in football showing their solidarity with the LGBT community by adopting rainbow laces for one weekend in the sporting calendar.
Football fans across the world were asked whether they would personally support a campaign of inclusion for the LGBT community in sport.
Although rules against homophobic abuse at football matches have become generally stricter, globally, 43% of fans say they have witnessed homophobic behaviour while attending a game.
Witnessing abuse is just one aspect of the campaign against homophobia, fans were also asked how comfortable they would be in reporting the abuse to relevant authorities such as stewards, the police or the club themselves.