Karl Fredrik “Freddie” Ljungberg
has said opponents called him gay.
The 35-year-old Ljungberg retired from
professional soccer earlier this year. He was captain of the Swedish
football team from 1998 to 2008. He went on to play on two U.S.
teams, the Seattle Sounders FC and Chicago Fire, followed by stints
in Scotland and Japan.
In an interview with CNN, Ljungberg
linked racism in the game with other forms of bullying.
“There's another thing to it as well.
Like where do you draw the line or how far do you go. Because if
you look at on the football field there's a lot of things said from
say stands and this and that, for example, and it's not a problem for
some, falls off me, like for example I was called gay from a lot of
opponents and this and that during my [career]. And they had a
history of problems and then you don't go for everything that's like
discriminating and a minority, whatever you want to call it. It's
very hard I think for the people in charge what is really, really bad
and what is not bad,” he
Rival fans often serenaded Ljungberg,
who has previously denied rumors he's gay, with an unflattering
mantra to the tune of the Village People's Go West.