A GAY footballer detained at Stockholm Pride is set to be deported back to Liberia – a country where homosexuality is illegal.
Andrew Nagbe was denied a residence permit after an unsuccessful trial with Swedish soccer club Umeå FC. He stayed on to play for lower division teams until he was detained in late July when he was caught after a random ID check.
“I want to play football and live as an openly gay man in Sweden,” he said.
The Liberian national feared what his openly gay status would mean and saw the threat of prosecution as a real possibility.
“In prison I’ll be beaten and raped every day until I am released and leave the country again,” Nagbe said.
“Everyone I know in Liberia knows I am gay now, so they won’t hold back.”
Nagbe insists he is already wanted by Liberian police and saw this outcome as inevitable.
Sweden’s Migration Service ruled that Nagbe’s claims were not verifiable and that he must submit new evidence in order to appeal their decision.
Michael Persson, a representative of the country’s Migration Board, said while there is the risk of harassment in Libera, there is no evidence of state-sanctioned abuse.
Nagbe is set to be deported on August 23.