Idrissa Gueye apparently refused to play for Paris Saint-Germain because he did not want to take part in an action against homophobia. This also caused irritation in the dressing room.

Idrissa Gueye was not in the PSG squad for the last away game of the season in Montpellier (4-0) on Saturday. The official reason was that the Senegalese international was only in the stands due to illness.

After the sovereign performance of the Paris star ensemble, coach Mauricio Pochettino surprisingly gave a different version: “Idrissa is not injured or ill, but sat in the stands for private reasons.”

A few minutes later, Gueye strolled through the mixed zone of the Stade de la Mosson towards the bus. Without a limp, he left the arena without a word. He then flew with his team-mates to Doha, where Paris Saint-Germain have a few marketing appointments to attend to before Tuesday.

Then on Sunday evening came the info: Gueye refused to play in the end because he did not want to share the action of the French league federation with a big campaign against homophobia at all. Each player appeared with a number in rainbow colours. For the fourth year in a row, the LFP, the umbrella organisation of the French top leagues, launched this campaign with the slogan “Straight or gay, we all wear the same jersey.”

Punishment for Gueye probably ruled out

According to French media, Gueye refused and justified his participation on purely religious grounds. His attitude has caused some unease and head-shaking in the PSG dressing room.

Last Thursday, the Dakar-born player had still organised a gala evening with his foundation “for Hope” to financially support sick children in Africa suffering from Aids or cancer.

A year ago, Gueye had already refused to appear on the day against homophobia. At that time officially because of a gastro-intestinal infection. No one in his inner circle wanted to comment, they only spoke of a “very sensitive subject.”

For the club Paris Saint-Germain, it is also a delicate situation. A penalty against Gueye would be illegal by law in France. For those in charge, it is also simply difficult to force a player to play. “The bosses must be tough on the issue and ensure clear consequences,” says Julien Pontes, spokesman for “Collectif Rouge Direct”, an association that fights homophobia.

Curious reason for cancellations

Unfortunately, this issue is not new. In 2019, the league association had come up with the idea of every player wearing a rainbow armband to send a clear message. But many players had refused to take part in this action at that time.

Officially, it was said that the armband was not made of good material and was therefore simply uncomfortable for the players to wear, but we have still not received the real reasons.

“Now I just hope that Gueye will take a position on this issue soon and above all explain why he didn’t want to play,” Pontes said. A new construction site for PSG, which president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and sports director Leonardo would certainly have liked to do without.