CONIFA referee Raymond Mashamba, outed as gay in Zimbabwe, granted asylum in UK

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12/21/2018

Raymond Mashamba was being blackmailed over his sexuality by a former friend in Bulawayo before and during the CONIFA World Football Cup, an international tournament for teams not affiliated to FIFA at which Mashamba officiated in May and June. Details of the 30-year-old’s relationship with his then boyfriend were disclosed to members of their local community – including Mashamba’s mother – before a national newspaper in Zimbabwe published an article identifying the referee as the subject of a “gay storm”. After the London tournament, Mashamba made a claim for asylum in Britain on the grounds that it would be unsafe for him to return home. Violence and discrimination against LGBT people is common in Zimbabwe, where even public displays of affection between people of the same sex are illegal.

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