Fifa World Cup 2014

Fifa's anti-discrimination recruit Lucio is accused of homophobia

Former captain of Brazil, who allegedly taunted another player as being "gay" in first division match, will be face of new campaign

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 June, 2014, 10:47pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 June, 2014, 10:47pm

Former Brazil captain Lucio, who has been accused of homophobia after allegedly taunting a rival as being "gay" in a Brazilian first division match, will this week front Fifa's pre-World Cup anti-discrimination campaign.

Botafogo forward Emerson accused Lucio of "calling me gay, as if I were a monster" during the match between Botafogo and Palmeiras on May 28. He made the comments on television after the players clashed in Botafogo's 2-0 win.

Lucio responded by saying: "If he said I said that then he should prove it."

Lucio, an evangelical Christian who was a member of the 2002 World Cup winning Brazil team, was chosen to front Fifa's campaign that kicks off this week.

The campaign encourages fans to post selfies on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #SayNoToRacism.

"A random selection will be shown before kick-off on the giant screens in the stadiums before the 2014 Fifa World Cup Brazil quarter-finals," Fifa said.

Lucio is pictured holding the hashtag, as are other current and former players, including Kevin-Prince Boateng, Roque Junior and Joseph-Antoine Bell.

The anti-racism drive is part of a larger campaign aimed at highlighting Fifa's commitment to "global football development and to raise awareness in the fight against discrimination and match manipulation", the world governing body said.

Fifa did not return e-mails or calls asking for comment on Lucio's inclusion in the campaign.

Emerson last year became one of the few players to take a stand on homophobia by posting an Instagram photo of him kissing a friend in a Sao Paulo restaurant. He said he was not gay and the closed-lips peck was more fun than sexual.

But fans of his team, Corinthians, protested with banners saying, "This is a man's club". He joined Botafogo months later.