Thomas Hitzlsperger: ‘You can’t be paid by Qatar or Fifa and criticise them’ | World Cup 2022

“I asked myself the question and my answer was that they can’t kill my passion: I still love football,” Thomas Hitzlsperger says, but he knows they have tried. It is nine years since he became the first Premier League footballer to reveal he is gay, a decision that improved his life and those of others too. “Even today,” he says, “someone came up to me and said: ‘Are you who I think you are?’ I said: ‘Probably.’ He put his thumbs up, said: ‘Good on you.’

“And that’s so powerful, which is why I say to others: it’s not just your personal situation, which is of…

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