According to Mauricio Pochettino, Senegalese international Idrissa Gana Gueye was absent from Saturday’s 4-0 triumph over Montpellier in Ligue 1 due to “personal reasons” rather than injuries.

According to a letter seen by AFP on Wednesday, Gueye must “make a public apology” or deny that rumors that he refused to participate in French football’s fight against homophobia are “unfounded.”

Last year, he also missed a match on a day dedicated to spreading anti-discrimination awareness.

“This absence (against Montpellier)… is very widely interpreted as a refusal to participate,” wrote the FFF’s ethics board.

“One of two things, either the hypotheses are unfounded and we invite you to immediately express yourself in order to silence these rumours,” the letter continued.

“Or the rumours are true. In this case we ask you to be aware of the impact of your actions and the very serious error committed.”

“In refusing to take part in this collective initiative you are validating discriminatory behaviour… and not only against the LGBTQI+ community,” it added.

Gueye on Tuesday received the support of Senegal’s President Macky Sall.

“I support Idrissa Gana Gueye. His religious beliefs must be respected,” he wrote on Twitter.

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