Cassano apologises for comments
AC Milan marksman vows to respect all players in Italy squad
Last Updated: 13/06/12 4:35pm
Antonio Cassano: Italy strikers tries to make amends after his comments
Antonio Cassano has apologised after causing controversy by saying he hoped there were no homosexuals in the Italy squad at Euro 2012.
In a statement released on Tuesday night, Cassano said his comments had been misinterpreted and he did not want to cause offence.
"I sincerely regret that my statements have sparked controversy and protest from gay rights groups," said the statement on the official website of the Italian Football Federation.
"Homophobia is a sentiment that is not mine. I did not want to offend anyone and I can not question the sexual freedom of other people.
"I only said that it is a problem that does not concern me and it is not for me to pass judgment on the choices of others, who are all respected."
At a press conference on Tuesday, Cassano had responded to questions about reports in Italy which claimed there were two homosexual players in Cesare Prandelli's 23-man Euro 2012 group.
"The (national) coach had warned me that you would ask me this question," Cassano said.
"If I say what I think...I hope there are none. But if there are queers here, that's their business."