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Thomas Berling (born 21 January 1979)[1] is a retired Norwegian football defender. His retirement from football sparked media attention.

He hails from Drevja.[2] He played for Nardo FK, and joined Lyn ahead of the 1999 season. He played four games in the second highest Norwegian league,[1] and also played for the u-19 national team.[3]

In 2000 he disappeared from professional football. It later surfaced that he had come out as homosexual, and that he quit football as a result of what he described as widespread homophobia in the football community.[3] In 2001 he briefly came out of retirement, playing for lower league Drøbak/Frogn IF.[3]

Berling's case was cited several times in the upcoming years, as the connection between homophobia and sport was discussed in the national media now and then.[4][5]


  1. ^ a b "Thomas Berling Profile" (in Norwegian). Lyn Retrieved 9 February 2009.  
  2. ^ "- Homohets knekker potensielle profiler" (in Norwegian). VG. 28 April 2001. Retrieved 9 February 2009.  
  3. ^ a b c "Homohets rammet landslagsspiller" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. 27 April 2001. Retrieved 9 February 2009.  
  4. ^ Christiansen, Anders K. (12 November 2004). "Reagerer kraftig på Rekdals homoutspill" (in Norwegian). VG. Retrieved 9 February 2009.  
  5. ^ Pettersen, Charlotte Lokland; Kleve, Marie; Nordseth, Pål (19 September 2008). "- Håper han blir tatt vel i mot" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. Retrieved 9 February 2009.  


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