Popular computer game Football Manager is to feature gay players for the first time in its 2018 release.
With each new release the computer game, which has sold more than 15 million copies, and in which players manage a football club, introduces new footballers, or “newgens” as old players retire.
Some of these fictional “newgens” will come out as gay.
Miles Jacobson, game director of Football Manager, told BBC Sport: “Part of the reason we decided to do this is because there are gay footballers.
“We know from the amount of professionals that there has to be players who are gay but feel they don’t want to come out.
“I find it weird that it’s still a problem in football so we decided to try and show people that coming out isn’t a big deal and can be a positive thing.”
However, he also confirmed that in countries where homosexuality is illegal these virtual players will not come out.
There are currently no openly gay players in professional football in the UK.