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Gay footballer deported after being arrested at Pride event

August 17, 2016
Andrew Nagbe says he attended Stockholm Pride with his boyfriend. Image: libfootball.com

A young gay football player will most likely be deported after not providing enough “evidence” that he’s gay.

Andrew Nagbe, 22, had his residency application rejected, and is currently in a detention centre awaiting deportation.

On the August 23 he will be sent back to his native Liberia, where it’s illegal to be gay.

“I want to play football and live as an openly gay man in Sweden,” he said.

football

Nagbe says he is worried he will be imprisoned for being gay and abused if he’s sent back.

“In prison I’ll be beaten and raped every day until I am released and leave the country again,” he said.

“Everyone I know in Liberia knows I am gay now, so they won’t hold back.”

The midfielder came to Sweden originally on trial with a third-tier Swedish team, Umeå FC. At the time he was arrested, he had been playing for Södertälje FK, a popular town for migrants.

He attended the Stockholm Pride festival in July, where he was arrested by migration officials, who told him there was not enough evidence that he’s gay, despite his claims that his life would be danger if he returned to Liberia.

Liberia was recently ravaged by the Ebola virus outbreak, which exacerbated pressure on local LGBT advocacy groups.

The news is especially unusual given Sweden’s positive record on LGBT rights, including offering compensation for trans people who in the past were forced to be sterilised as a “cure”.

Metin Rhawi, a major politician from the ruling social Democratic party, called the decision “heartless”.

“Should someone scared for their life be deported so cold-heartedly?”

The UK Home Office recently issued guidance banning caseworkers from asking LGBT asylum seekers for explicit details about their sex lives – but they can still be quizzed about local gay bars.

More: "kisses against homophobia", Africa, Andrew Nagbe, Europe, football, liberia, out footballers, stockholm, Sweden

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