Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Idrissa Gueye was praised as a ‘hero’ back in his home country of Senegal after his alleged refusal to wear a rainbow-colored themed kit.
Recall that last month Gueye, a devout Muslim, missed his side’s 4-0 win against Montpellier because he didn’t want to wear the special shirts in an expression of solidarity to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia, on Tuesday, May 17.
Soon-to-be ex-PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino confirmed his absence was due to ‘personal reasons’ and not because of an injury. Gueye was also encouraged by the FFF to clarify his position.
However, despite the outrage surrounding his no-show for the Ligue 1 game, Bacary Cisse, who is a Senegalese journalist, insists Gueye’s action have actually been well received back in his country.
‘It’s a misunderstanding,’ Cisse said, as quoted by RMC Sport. ‘We must not forget that Gueye was born in Senegal. He grew up there, he was educated there.
‘We respect everything that others do, but we don’t follow them in their culture. Culturally, no one would have understood if he had done anything other than what he did. He’s not the only one.
‘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.’
Gueye’s actions caused an outcry in France, which led to the FFF asking him to take a picture of himself wearing the shirt to silence the reported rumours of his stance.
But Cisse claims Gueye’s followers back in Senegal would have been ‘more shocked’ he if donned the specially designed jersey.
‘If Gueye had done otherwise, what would we have said? We would have been much more shocked,’ he added.
Teams in France have been wearing the rainbow-themed kits for the last two seasons, and Gueye also missed a match last year for the same reported reason.
‘For me, the main culprit in this affair is the staff of PSG,’ Cisse said as he defended Gueye. ‘They know that they have already had this kind of problem last year.
‘Gueye carried out humanitarian action the day before this match [he had organised a charity evening for the fight against cancer and HIV on May 12]. For me, we could spare the player from this meeting.’