Police investigate extortion claims by French football star Paul Pogba

·2-min read
© Paul Pogba

French police have opened an investigation into claims by World Cup winner Paul Pogba that he is the victim of a multi-million euro blackmail plot by gangsters and his brother.

Pogba's allegations came after his brother Mathias published a video online – in French, Italian, English and Spanish – promising "great revelations" about the Juventus star.

A statement signed by his lawyers, his mother Yeo Moriba and current agent Rafaela Pimenta said that the videos published on Saturday night "are unfortunately no surprise".

The statement added that they come in addition to threats and extortion attempts by an organised gang against Pogba, and that the authorities in France and Italy were informed of the attempted blackmail over a month ago.

'Explosive' revelations

In the video, Mathias Pogba promised "great revelations about [his] brother Paul Pogba and his agent Rafaela Pimenta," who took over as head of the company of former agent Mino Raiola who died in April.

He said the "whole world – as well as my brother's fans – and even more so the French team and Juventus, my brother's team-mates and his sponsors deserve to know certain things".

Also a professional footballer, Mathias Pogba said people needed to know what he knew in order to judge whether his brother "deserves his place in the French team and the honour of playing in the World Cup. If he deserves to be a starter at Juventus."

"All this is likely to be explosive," he concluded without adding any substance to his "revelations."

€13 million

According to sources close to the Pogba family, large sums of money are being demanded from Paul Pogba if he wants to avoid the dissemination of the allegedly compromising videos.

Paul Pogba reportedly told investigators he had been threatened by "childhood friends and two hooded men armed with assault rifles".

They are demanding €13 million from him for "services provided".

PSG star Kylian Mbappé's name also came up in the affair.

Pogba added that his blackmailers wanted to discredit him by claiming he asked a marabout or witch doctor to cast a spell on the Paris Saint-Germain and France star, which Pogba denies.

Pogba, who won the World Cup with France in 2018, returned to Juventus on a free transfer this summer after six years at Manchester United, and is currently sidelined with a knee injury.