FOOTBALL Stung by the Idrissa Gueye affair, former referee Nicolas Pottier has decided to reveal his homosexuality. What “freed him from a burden”

Fight against homophobia: Ex-arbitrator Nicolas Pottier reveals his homosexuality in the hope of “moving things forward”

Homophobia is red card. — BRE ALEXANDRE/SIPA

As released of a weight. “ For five years, I lived totally hidden. With nothing in terms of social life. » Living out your homosexuality in the world of football is not easy, and Nicolas Pottier knows it well. The former referee, who officiated in Ligue 1 to from 2005, just came out as Blackpool footballer Jake Daniels. He delivered himself with Ouest-France.

“ It had been eating away at me for ten years, he says. But I needed an angle of attack, an opportunity. She came with a topical question on the Gana Gueye case. I had tweeted; to condemn his attitude, a journalist called me. I’t thought; it’s time… I just think it might get things going. Help those who experience the same thing as me, but do not dare to express it. »

A coming out that prompted various reactions, « but above all thousands of positive relays on social networks », insists Nicolas Pottier, who received a phone call from the secretary general of the federation, Laura Georges. “ This may help the Fed… It needed a n° 1, someone who starts. I did. I made mistakes, I erased them. I am not afraid. I broke free of a weight. » And to conclude with words that speak for themselves: « I'm comfortable with myself. I feel strong. ”