AIPS / LAUSANNE: Sparta Prague midfielder Jakub Jankto has come out as homosexual after admitting he “no longer wants to hide” himself from the world, insisting he wants to live his life “without fears, without prejudice, without violence, but with love”, through an emotional video statement on his social media account.

The 27-year-old Czech played for Italy’s Udinese from 2014-2019 and is at Sparta on loan from Spanish club Getafe. He has scored four goals in 45 appearances for Czech Republic.

He said: “Hi, I’m Jakub Jankto. Like everybody else, I have my strengths. I have my weaknesses. I have a family. I have my friends. I have a job which I have been doing as best as I can, for years, with seriousness, professionalism and passion.

“Like everybody else, I also want to live my life in freedom. Without fears. Without prejudice. Without violence. But with love. I am homosexual and I no longer want to hide myself.”

Jankto has spent most of his career in Italy, having left Slavia Prague’s academy, where he played from 2002-2014, to join Serie A’s Udinese at 18 years old, making his professional debut shortly after.

He joined Sampdoria in 2019 before sealing a move to La Liga’s Getafe in 2021 but, after struggling to nail down a starting spot, joined Sparta on loan in August.