PSG Midfielder Idrissa Gueye Hailed as a ‘Hero’ in Senegal for Boycotting Rainbow Flag

Sadio Mane’s new advisor Bacary Cisse reveals that PSG midfielder Idrissa Gueye was “perceived as a hero” in Senegal after allegedly refusing to wear the rainbow flag last month.

Despite travelling with the group, Gueye did not feature in PSG’s match against Montpellier in Ligue1. The match was won 4-0 by PSG but the Senegal international didn’t even come on as a substitute.

After the match, PSG gaffer Mauricio Pochettino stated that Gueye “had to leave the team sheet for personal reasons,” but added that his absence was not due to injury.

The French media outlet RMC Sport then made a huge claim that Gueye’s absence was caused by a boycott of the rainbow flag, which is a symbol of the LGBTQ+ community and movement. On the weekend when PSG had to play against Montpellier, all Ligue 1 matches had to feature the rainbow flag on the players’ jersey numbers and captains’ armbands in honour of ‘World Day Against Homophobia.’

This wasn’t the first time that the midfielder missed a match without a certain reason. In 2020, Gueye had missed a match on a day dedicated to raising awareness against discrimination sighting similar “personal reasons”.

Talking to the RMC Sport and Goal, Cisse stated that the whole incident was just a misunderstanding.

“We must not forget that Gueye was born in Senegal. He grew up there, he was educated there. We (Senegalese) respect everything that others do, but we don’t follow them in their culture.”, Cisse said.

“Today, Gueye has the total support of all Senegalese, of all Africans. In this case, we must not stigmatize the boy. He cannot justify this gesture. He was perceived as a hero in Senegal, of course. For us, Gueye is a hero. If Gueye had done otherwise, what would we have said? We would have been much more shocked.”, he added.

The French football federation’s ethics board apparently demanded that Gueye should explain why he skipped the game.

“This absence (against Montpellier) is very widely interpreted as a refusal to participate. It is one of the two things, either the hypotheses are unfounded and we invite you to immediately express yourself in order to silence these rumours or the rumours are true. In this case, we ask you to be aware of the impact of your actions and the very serious error committed.” FFF Ethics’s board wrote in a letter to Gueye.

The PSG midfielder has not given an official statement on the matter and according to Marca, the matter will now be settled internally.

Recently the Crystal Palace player Cheikhou Kouyate sparked outrage after praising his compatriot and calling him “a real man” on Instagram and writing in the caption, “We totally support you, brother”. The post was later deleted by the Senegalese international.

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