Saturday 16 December 2017

Bernie Ecclestone backs Putin on gay rights

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone
Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has controversially come out in support of Russia president Vladimir Putin's stance on gay rights.

Ahead of the winter Olympics currently being staged in Sochi, Putin and his government came under fire for introducing a law banning what he described as the "propaganda of non-traditional relations".

Ecclestone, known for his own forthright views and who once claimed Adolf Hitler was a man who "was able to get things done", has sided with Putin in this instance.

In an interview with CNN, Ecclestone said: "He (Putin) hasn't said he doesn't agree (with homosexuality), just that he doesn't want these things publicised to an audience under the age of 18.

"I completely agree with those sentiments, and if you took a world census you'd find 90 per cent of the world agree with it as well."

Russia is due to make its debut on the F1 stage later this year when Sochi hosts a grand prix in early October.

Ecclestone praised a "first-class job" from Russia in preparing the new circuit and said Putin deserved more credit.

"I've great admiration for him and his courage to say what he says," he added.

"It may upset a few people but that's how the world is. It's how he sees (the world) and I think he's completely right."

Press Association

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