Munich - The President of the German League Association DFL, Dr. Reinhard Rauball, has commended former Bundesliga player Thomas Hitzlsperger's decision to come out.

"The decision of Thomas Hitzlsperger in being the first leading footballer to make his homosexuality public is a big and courageous step in the fight against homophobia, and coming even after his playing career has ended, it is certainly groundbreaking. In view of the huge public interest in professional football, the reaction of the fans to a current professional coming out would continue to be difficult to predict, however. In this regard, clubs, in their role as employers, carry an extraordinary responsibility. In view of this, I would recommend anybody in such a situation as a first step to confide in the club management, such as the board, coaching staff and their team-mates," said Rauball.