Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye was absent from the squad during their 4-0 win over Montpellier Saturday. French outlet RMC Sport reports that Gueye refused to play in a shirt that had his No. 27 in rainbow colors.
Players across Ligue 1 wore rainbow shirts over the weekend in support for the LGBT+ community, ahead of International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, on Tuesday. PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino said that Gueye was held out for “personal reasons” rather than injury.
Gueye, 32, missed a match last year on a day dedicated to supporting the LGBT+ community. Gueye, the Senegal native, has faced criticism for his decision to not wear the shirt. Eric Arassus, president of the French LGBT+ Sports Federation, said that Gueye should be sanctioned.
“Idrissa Gueye is a great player, but religion is not a part of the sport,” Arassus said. “Every player took part, except him. He should be sanctioned. Gueye’s excuses show that the club [PSG] and League let homophobia happen.”
According to the Daily Mail, Gueye is a devout Muslim and regularly shares messages about his faith on his social media platforms. Homosexuality is illegal in Gueye’s home country of Senegal and can result up to five years of imprisonment.
Senegal President Macky Sall supported Gueye on Twitter Tuesday in the following statement:
“I support Idrissa Gana Gueye,” Sall wrote. “His religious beliefs must be respected.”
Gueye has taken the pitch in 25 matches this season for PSG in Ligue 1, contributing three goals and one assist.