What is Ousmane Dembele’s ethnicity, and where is he from?

Nancy Marende

Ousmane Dembele is among many black players in the France men’s national team. Ever since France won the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where Dembele participated, people questioned his ethnicity and that of other players in the team.

Generally, France is one of the few countries worldwide with a diverse cultural makeup. The country has always faced a long immigration history, and many of its citizens are of African or Caribbean descent.

The cultural diversity in France is why France’s men’s national team has many black players, including Ousmane Dembele. But what is Ousmane Dembele’s ethnicity, and where is he from?

What is Ousmane Dembele’s ethnicity?

Ousmane Dembele’s ethnicity is multiracial. However, he has African descent because his parents are from Africa.

Ousmane Dembele was born on 15 May 1997 in Vernon, Eure, Normandy, France. This means Ousmane Dembele is French and eligible to play for France.

Who are Dembele parents?

Ousmane Dembele family. Image: Twitter/Barca_Buzz

Ousmane Dembele’s parents are African. His mother, Fatimata Sy, is a Mauritanian-Senegalese native from Waly Diantang, Mauritania, near the Senegal River.

On the other hand, Ousmane Dembele’s father, Seydou Dembele, is from Mali. The duo immigrated to France, where they met, married, and started a family.

Ousmane Dembele’s family lived in Evreux in Eure, France. Dembele began his football career at ALM Evreux and signed with Evreux FC 27 when he was 12.

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Dembele’s mother moved to France with her family in the mid-1990s, searching for a better life. They eventually settled in Vernon, France, where she met Dembele’s father.

Dembele’s parents welcomed three more children, a boy and two girls.

Unfortunately, Seydou Dembele left the family home, leaving Fatimata alone to bring up her children. She did odd jobs to support her family.

What country is the name Dembele from?

Dembele is a surname synonymous with people from West Africa.

However, the name originates in Mali, where Dembele’s father was born.

What tribe is Dembele?

People named Dembele are from the Dembele clan of the Mandinka tribe. The Mandinka are primarily found in southern Mali and are the largest subgroup of the Mande people.

The Mandinka speak the Manding languages, part of the Mande language family. Furthermore, at least 99% of the Mandinka follow the Islam religion. That explains Ousmane Dembele’s practice in Muslim.

Is Dembele a Mauritanian?

Ousmane Dembele. Image: Instagram/OusmaneDembélé

Dembele is half-Mauritanian.

He gets his Mauritanian roots from his mother, Fatimata, born in Waly Diantang, Mauritania, near the Senegal River.

How did Ousmane Dembele start playing football?

Ousmane Dembele had an interest in football when he was seven years old. His mother spotted his talent and enlisted Dembele at a local football club called Madeleine Évreux.

Fatimata accompanied Ousmane Dembele to training every day. He then joined Rennes in 2010 and debuted for Rennes senior team in 2014 during the Championnat de France Amateur.

Is Ousmane Dembele eligible to play for Mali and Mauritania?

The FIFA rules dictate that a player is eligible to play for the country where they were born.

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They can also play if they are married to citizens of another country, or the country their grandparents were born in, and are neutralised citizens in a country.

In this case, Dembele’s wife, Rima Edbouche, is of Moroccan origin.

Ousmane Dembele qualified to play for France because he was born in France. He also qualifies to play for Mali and Mauritania because his grandparents are from the two countries.

But since he has already played for France, he is not eligible to play for Mali or Mauritania, per the FIFA rules. However, FIFA has exceptional circumstances where this may happen.

For example, Dembele can only play for Mali or Mauritania if it has been three years since he played a competitive match in a senior appearance for France.

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