Sparta Prague star Jakub Jankto explains why he waited until this year to announce his homosexuality. ‘I could never have said it when I was playing in Italy or Spain.’



The 27-year-old midfielder spent most of his career in Italy, joining the Udinese youth academy from 2014, then having experiences at Ascoli and Sampdoria.

He moved to Getafe in August 2021 and returned to his hometown club Sparta Prague on loan a year later.

“I decided to come out first of all for myself, but also to help others,” Jankto told Sky TG24.

“I knew I was gay since I was little, but you tend to say to yourself ‘I’ll carry on somehow.’ Let’s just say the world of football is very homophobic, we all know it, and I didn’t plan to announce it, I just felt it was the right time and I don’t regret it. Finally, I can do what I want and I am very happy.”

Speaking his truth in Prague proved rather easier for Jankto than it might’ve been when playing in Serie A or LaLiga, which ought to give the media, clubs and fans in those countries something to think about.

“It is true what they say, home sweet home, as the people of Prague helped me so much. I could never have said it when I was playing in Italy or Spain.

“There are other gay football players. There were, there are and there will be in future. I don’t want to push them into coming out too, but perhaps my example can help them and in future they’ll think, maybe I can do it too.”

Jankto was in a long-term relationship and they have a son together, so he was asked to comment on the current controversy in Italian politics over recognising more unconventional family structures.

“If two people love each other and care for each other, they can take care of kids and probably set a better example than many mothers and fathers who don’t behave in the right way around their children.”

Jankto has 45 senior caps for the Czech Republic, scoring four goals.

He played 155 Serie A games and 34 in Serie B, spending the majority of his career in Italian football.

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