French prosecutors have opened a probe into claims Paris Saint-Germain subjected recruits to the club to racial profiling, breaking anti-discrimination laws.
The alleged practice was first revealed by investigative website Mediapart. The club has already conducted an internal investigation and found “no proven case of discrimination”.
The controversy “blew up internally” in March 2014, said Mediapart, in relation to the case of a talented 13-year-old player called Yann Gboho, who caught the eye of scouts while he was playing for FC Rouen in the Normandy region of northern France
Mediapart, citing information from Football Leaks documents, said that between 2013 and this year, PSG’s scouting department filled in recruitment forms on potential youth signings that included a section on ethnicity.
The section offered four options: French, West Indian, North African, African.
The investigative website quoted Serge Fournier, the PSG scout who evaluated Gboho, as saying “instead of French, it should have said white, especially as all the players we recommended were French.”
Documenting information on racial or ethnic origins is illegal in France.
© Agence France-Presse (additional edits from Cillian Cunningham)