FFF urges PSG's Idrissa Gueye, accused of homophobia, to clarify rainbow shirt stance
PSG's Idrissa Gueye was absent for Saturday's 4-0 win over Montpellier in Ligue 1 for "personal reasons" rather than injury.
Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye, accused of homophobia, has been ordered by the French Football Federation to respond to claims that he missed the game against Montpellier to avoid wearing a rainbow jersey in support of the LGBTQI+ movement.
The Senegal international was absent for Saturday's 4-0 win over Montpellier in Ligue 1 for "personal reasons" rather than injury, according to manager Mauricio Pochettino.
"There are two possibilities, either these allegations are unfounded and we invite you to speak out without delay to silence these rumours. For example, we invite you to accompany your message by a photo of yourself wearing said shirt," the letter reportedly says.
"Or the rumours are true. In this case we invite you to realise the impact of your act, and the grave error committed. The fight against discrimination towards different minorities, whoever they might be, is a vital fight for all times. Whether it's skin colour, religion, sexual orientation, or any other difference, all discrimination is based on the same principle which is rejection of the other because they are different from the majority," the letter is to have added.
"By refusing to take part in this collective operation, you are effectively validating discriminatory behaviour, and rejection of the other, and not just against the LGBTQI+ community. The impact of football on society and the capacity for footballers to be a role model for those who admire them gives us all a particular responsibility," the letter concluded.
The 32-year-old former Everton star appears to have been backed by Cheikhou Kouyate of Crystal Palace and Ismaila Sarr at Watford, who both play with the Gueye for the Senegal national team.
Sarr posted a photograph of himself standing next to the PSG player on Instagram, with a fist emoji, three heart emojis and the words, '100 per cent'. As for Kouyate, he uploaded a picture of himself with Gueye on the social media platform, calling him 'a real man', and adding 'we wholeheartedly support you brother'.
Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira responded, stating, "We are against any form of discrimination," before confirming he would talk to Kouyate. The former Arsenal legend added that he wants people to make sure they don't jump to conclusions without knowing the full facts.
Meanwhile, Sarr's club Watford too responded, stating, "Watford Football Club is proud to work collaboratively within its local community to further the messages and education around EDI (Equality, Diversity & Inclusion), including the formation of some partnerships which have helped everyone at Vicarage Road better understand the differences in cultures that abound."
"The club reiterates its long-term commitment to the EDI values that formed the backbone of it being recognised with the PLEDIS (Premier League Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Standard) Advanced Award, and this includes the willingness to offer further education and support to any of its employees," the club reiterated.
Gueye's alleged refusal to appear in the rainbow shirt came just before Blackpool's Jake Daniels became the first openly gay player in the country and only the second known gay player globally.