The agent for the captain of Germany's national soccer team has blamed "gay players" for the nation's failure to capture a World Cup title, sparking a firestorm of criticism. Michael Becker, who represents captain Michael Ballack, scoffed at the "bunch of gays" on the World Cup team in an interview with Der Spiegel. Becker attributed the team's more elegant and agile play to their homosexuality, and said that style over German teams' more traditional aggressive approach cost the athletes a place in the World Cup finals.
Becker also said other players were "jealous" of Ballack, who was photographed for Vanity Fair, because they were "mediocre, ugly, untalented, bureaucratic, provincial, unmanly or gay," noted reporter Alexander Osang. A spokesman for another German team blasted Becker's remarks, saying the club has "absolutely no resentment toward homosexuals." German national coach Joachim Löw refused to respond, saying he would "not stoop so low." Germany's World Cup team has been hailed for being the youngest in 76 years and more ethnically diverse than ever, notes the Guardian.