FA chairman Greg Clarke has claimed that "not one" gay professional football has been willing to meet him and discuss the issues surrounding sexuality in the game.
The governing body have previously revealed that they are attempting to reach a point where players are comfortable enough to be openly gay. But Clarke has admitted that, while progress has been made in other sports, football continues to struggle with the issue.
"We haven't yet won the trust of the professional gay players," he told the Telegraph. "I've reached out. I've seen athletes, swimmers, divers, I've gone everywhere. And they've shared their views with me.
"I've said - 'Why won't gay footballers meet me?' They've all said - 'I don't know because I don't know any gay footballers.' They're very deeply buried.
"I haven't met one player at professional level who would even agree to meet me in the middle of nowhere for a conversation over a cup of coffee. Not one. I don't blame them for that.
"If they don't feel comfortable having that conversation, it doesn't say good things about our game.
"I don't want to speculate about what's in their heads. They obviously don't feel comfortable. I've spoken to the Premier League, the EFL [Football League], the PFA [Professional Footballers' Association], the LMA [League Managers' Association].
"I've met a lot of gay activists, gay publishers. I went down to Stonewall [FC], watched a game, had a beer in the bar afterwards - and talked about the issues. At the semi-pro level and below, nobody's worried."