World’s only openly gay active pro footballer is concerned for LGBTQ community ahead of Qatar 2022 World Cup
A gay African footballer is concerned for the LGBTQ community ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
It’s not been until now that a professional footballer has spoken out against the discriminatory policies of the country and says he will do everything he can to help the community.
In an exclusive interview with Pink News, Olympique de Marseille football star Gouna Sene speaks on what the Qatar 2022 World Cup could mean for the LGBTQ community.
We ask him how far he is prepared to go and what he hopes to achieve through his outspoken stance.
Gouna Sene’s career in football began in Senegal – he had the nickname “Fufu” in his youth and was even given a red bicycle by the president of Senegal’s football federation at an age of 15.
But it was at his home in France that Sene’s career would truly take off. The 19-year-old was scouted by Olympique de Marseille in 2010 and was given his first professional contract in 2011.
The deal, worth €20,000-a-month, ensured Sene would play at the highest level, playing for the club in the Ligue 1, alongside compatriots Amadou Diafra and Djibril Sidibé, and is currently on loan at Lille.
His rise in the sport has led him to be invited to the Africa Cup of Nations three years in a row. The first time, he played in the group stage against Tunisia (2012) and Ghana (2013). He scored once in that game and was called up to the national team for two friendlies (2013 and 2014), as well as the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
The next time he appeared in an international match was in April 2015 when he featured for France at the 2016 Confederations Cup, when he was still a young teenager.
Now he looks up ahead at the Qatar 2022 World Cup and he’s hoping to take his game to the next level.
He says: “It is very important to me to show to the youth around the world that I am a gay footballer, that