PSG

The murky saga involving Qatar, French football club PSG and an alleged €100m blackmail bid

France — Investigation

It is the latest development in a complex affair involving the French football club Paris Saint-Germain, the state of Qatar, a lobbyist, a former French intelligence agent and accusations of illicit espionage. The lobbyist in question, Franco-Algerian businessman Tayeb Benabderrahmane, was arrested and detained for several months in Doha in 2020 after having obtained confidential information belonging to the PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi. Tayeb Benabderrahmane was later able to leave Qatar after reportedly signing a secret agreement and handing over all the information he possessed. However, according to a document seen by Mediapart, the lobbyist had kept hold of some of the confidential information on the PSG boss and wanted to ask for 100 million euros from the emirate, who own PSG, in return for his silence. Tayeb Benabderrahmane, who faces separate allegations involving private and illicit investigations on behalf of the football club, denies all the claims. Yann Philippin reports.

How a 'digital army' paid for by French club Paris Saint-Germain smeared its opponents online

France — Investigation

An external agency paid by the Qatari-owned Paris club created an “army” of fake Twitter accounts which then carried out aggressive and foul-mouthed online smear campaigns, in particular against the media and some of the Paris football club's own leading figures. Mediapart and the sports newspaper L’Équipe were among the main targets. This “digital army” even had a go at PSG's French star Kylian Mbappé. Clément Fayol and Yann Philippin report.

France's PSG face backlash for mocking eco-friendly travel plea

France — Link

Head coach Christophe Galtier and star player Kylian Mbappé had been asked about the French champions' recent jet trip to the western city of Nantes., and Gaultier joked they might now use a 'sand yacht'. 

Paris eyes pull of brand Messi: shirts, social media and TV rights

France — Link

Paris Saint-Germain chairman Nasser al-Khelaifi said people would be "shocked" by the revenue the 34-year-old former Barcelona star would bring to the club. 

Lionel Messi seals Paris move as he signs 2 year contract with PSG

France — Link

The deal for the former Barcelona star is worth about €35m a year net and the Argentine has an option to extend it.

PSG beefs up security at players' homes after robberies

France — Link

Football club PSG announced it was reinforcing security around the homes of its players after intruders broke into the house of the father of team captain Marquinhos and the apartment of winger Angel Di Maria while the two were playing a match on Sunday.

PSG, Basaksehir players walk off over alleged racism by match official

France — Link

Row erupted after Basaksehir assistant coach Pierre Webo, the former Cameroon international, was shown a red card during a row on the touchline with staff from the Turkish club appearing to accuse the Romanian fourth official of using a racist term.

French football boss says racism in football 'does not exist'

France — Link

Noël Le Graët's comments came after PSG star Neymar says he was subjected to a racist slur after being sent off.

French minister condemns crowded Marseille football celebrations

France — Link

Olympique Marseille earned a 1-0 away win at Ligue 1 champions and arch rivals Paris St Germain, sparking the celebrations on Marseille’s Vieux Port.

PSG fans clash with police in Paris after Champions League defeat

France — Link

Cars were burned and shops vandalised when groups of supporters of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) football club clashed with riot police in the French capital on Sunday night after their team lost the final of the Champions League to Bayern Munich.

'Thank you Nasser for your gift': when FIFA secretary general found luxury watch in his Qatar hotel room

International — Investigation

Shortly after a committee of world football governing body FIFA in February 2015 controversially recommended that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar could be played in winter, the then FIFA secretary general Jérôme Valcke secretly met with Qatari businessman Nasser al-Khelaifi, president of French football club PSG and chairman of beIN Sports, who was thanked by Valcke hours later for a gift of a watch worth 40,000 euros, according to phone text messages revealed here by Mediapart. Al-Khelaifi denies he was behind the gift. Swiss prosecutors, meanwhile, have dropped their probe of the two men over suspected bribery, which included Valcke’s free use of a luxurious villa bought by al-Khelaifi in Sardinia. Yann Philippin reports.

Boss of top French football club PSG faces questions over commission for player's agent

France — Investigation

In a confidential letter seen by Mediapart and the British daily newspaper The Guardian, the president of leading French football club PSG, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, requested the payment of a 2-million-euro commission to the agent of Argentine midfielder Javier Pastore in relation to the latter's transfer. The request was apparently made on the instructions of the current Emir of Qatar. If carried out, such a payment appears to breach both French football transfer regulations and the law. A company run by Al-Khelaifi's brother also asked for 200,000 dollars in 'expenses' over the transfer. Yann Philippin reports.

The 'colour prejudice' that shames France

France — Analysis

Seven years after Mediapart's revelations about discriminatory ethnic quotas in French football, our 'Football Leaks 2' investigation revealed how French football's most prestigious club, PSG, kept files on the ethnic origins of potential youth recruits, writes Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel. What, he asks, does this persistent prejudice say about France?

French prosecutors probe alleged racial discrimination at PSG

France — Link

The allegations, broken by Mediapart, are that PSG had asked recruiters to record the origin of players in four categories.

How Neymar transfer became a financial abyss for PSG

International — Investigation

Documents from Football Leaks lift the lid on the real cost and the dealings behind the record-breaking transfer in the summer of 2017 of Brazilian football star Neymar from FC Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). Revealed here by Mediapart, they tell of massive commission payments, up-to-the-wire negotiations that almost collapsed amid a tetchy moment of bluff, tax dilemmas and the club’s suspicions that some of those accompanying the player to Paris were in undeclared employment. Meanwhile, despite the capture of one of the world’s most celebrated players, the transfer appears to represent a financial abyss for PSG.