Wenger backs Stoney claims

The Arsenal manager - whose players will lace their boots with rainbow colours against Manchester City in the Barclays Premier League this weekend, in support of the anti-discrimination campaign Rainbow Laces - admits the game has fallen behind society in the fight against homophobia.

Wenger feels more can be done to combat prejudice and agrees with the sentiments expressed by former England women's captain Casey Stoney, who on Wednesday said it could be some time before a high-profile male player is prepared to come out as homosexual.

Stoney publicly revealed she was gay earlier this year but no active male professional has followed suit.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Thursday, Wenger said: "I think in some values, we are in front of normal society (and) with some we are a bit behind compared to what is the trend of society.

"This (tackling homophobia) is one where maybe we are a bit behind and we have to work on it, of course.

"Any discrimination I'm completely against.

"(Should women) train football teams? I'm for (that happening), if they are good enough

For me the only thing that is important is competence."

When Stoney, the winner of 117 caps as a defender with England, came out in February she revealed her sexuality had already been common knowledge within the women's game for some time

She said the response she has received since has been "overwhelmingly positive" but she feels it would be much tougher for a player to take the same step in the different environment of the men's game.

Speaking at the Soccerex Global Convention in Manchester, Arsenal player Stoney said: "If you look at the statistics, it beggars belief there is no gay player in the 5,000 that play the (men's) game.

"A male dressing room is very different to a female dressing room, male terraces are very different to female terraces.

"As a male player, when there are 50,000 people sitting in stands wanting to do anything to make you play bad - I can understand their fears.

"I think it could take one person to make that brave step, that could open up the floodgates for other people, but it has to be something they are ready to do."

The 32-year-old, who led Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics, added: "I think football is so far behind society

"That is a really sad thing, that there is homophobia in football

If there wasn't, I think we would have seen a gay male player by now

"Fortunately women's football doesn't really suffer from homophobia

That is really positive, that women's football is in line with society

We need to get men's football there too."

Stoney is expecting twins with her partner later this year

Source : PA

Source: PA