First FIFA referee to declare himself gay, Igor Junio ​​Benevenuto overcame depression and reveals he cried with Richarlyson’s story

This week, referee Igor Junio ​​Benevenuto came out as homosexual . At 41 years old, the referee from Goiás, who is part of the FIFA team, broke paradigms, being the first to make the declaration publicly.

In an interview with TV Globo , Benevenuto said that he overcame depression and several “moments of anguish” before making the statement.

In addition, the judge revealed that he was very emotional about the story of former player Richarlyson , who recently came out as bisexual .

According to Igor, the courage shown by the current commentator was an encouraging factor for him to also tell his story.

“I was very moved by his (Richarlyson) episode. I cried even listening to it, because I saw myself in his story”, said Benevenuto.

“I lived my whole life living for other people, I had depression, moments of anguish. Many problems that I never told anyone, it was an internal thing, very mine”, he continued.

“Today, I want to get rid of these shackles. I’m gay, I’m Igor”, he added.

Earlier, in an interview with GE ‘s “In the locker rooms” podcast , Igor reported that he grew up “hating football” for the closeted machismo and stated that there are many gays in the sport, but “99.99% inside the closet”.

“Football is a sport that I grew up hating deeply. I couldn’t stand the environment, the machismo and prejudice disguised as a joke. It was a ‘man’ thing, and I knew from an early age that I was gay. There was no more perfect place to hide my sexuality. But playing was not a lasting option, so I went the only way possible: I became a referee.” .

“We, the gays in football, are many. We are everywhere. But 99.99% are in the closet. There are referees, players, coaches, married, with children, separated, with a double life… It has everything. We recognize each other. I joke that we have a Wi-Fi that is constantly on and that it connects with the other even without wanting to. We exist and we deserve the right to talk about it, to live normally”, he concluded.


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