MADRID – A gay Spanish soccer referee says he is giving up the job after repeatedly being the target of verbal abuse at games because of his sexual orientation.
Jesus Tomillero tells The Associated Press "I can't stand it anymore."
Tomillero says the insults started about 18 months ago after he came out on social media as gay. He said fans and coaching staff have insulted him in the Andalusian regional league, in southern Spain, where he supervises games.
The 21-year-old part-time referee and waiter said Thursday he feels he has no support from the local soccer organization that pays him.
Rafael Jimenez, a spokesman for the Andalusian Football Federation, said they fully support Tomillero and want him to keep refereeing, but Tomillero says nobody from the association has contacted him.