A vindictive brother, a harmful entourage, a threatened mother, millions of euros, a marabout and in the middle of it all: Paul Pogba, the star of the French team and Juventus Turin. The player, 2018 world champion, is at the heart of an incredible affair. He denounces attempts at extortion of funds in which, according to him, his older brother Mathias participates. Franceinfo summarizes this affair which broke out a few months before the World Cup in Qatar (from November 20 to December 18) and which could have consequences for the Blues.
Who is Mathias Pogba?
Mathias, 32, is Paul’s eldest (29) and Florentin’s twin. Like his brothers, the native of Conakry (Guinea) embarked on a very winding professional career (13 clubs in 13 years). Far from the success of his younger brother, he has been without a club since leaving the modest Belfort team in the summer of 2021 – where he has not left an imperishable memory, with only twelve matches on the clock. “We can talk about a casting error”conceded Jean-Paul Simon, the president of the club, last April in the columns of The Republican East.
In recent months, Mathias Pogba has also been one of the regular columnists for the television program “L’Équipe du soir”, on the L’Equipe channel. Until now, the Pogba clan seemed extremely united, very often appearing together on social networks. Mathias, Florentin and their mother, Yeo Moriba, regularly attend matches for the France team. Paul Pogba is also one of the main donors of Mathias’ association, “48 H POUR”, whose purpose is to raise funds to promote access for Guinean children to drinking water and education. .
How did the case break out?
On August 27, as we head slowly towards the end of the summer, and Paul Pogba is injured in his knee, his older brother Mathias publishes a video on TikTok, in which he announces revelations “explosive” on his younger brother. He assures that “the whole world deserves to know certain things in order to make an informed decision whether [son frère] really deserves admiration, respect, his place in the France team, if he is a trustworthy person”. He also promises, in this enigmatic message, to deliver information implicating Kylian Mbappé, the star player of PSG and the France team. But also revelations about Paul Pogba’s agent, Rafaela Pimenta.
How did the Paul Pogba clan react?
Paul Pogba’s advisers react on Sunday by publishing a press release signed by his lawyers and his agent. They denounce “organized extortion attempts” against the player. “Mathias Pogba’s recent statements on social networks are unfortunately not a surprise”they specify and add that “the competent authorities in Italy and France were seized a month ago”. The Paris prosecutor’s office announced, Friday, September 2, the opening of a judicial investigation against X, that is to say to entrust the investigation to investigating judges.
What did Paul Pogba tell the investigators?
Faced with investigators from the Central Office for the Fight against Organized Crime, Paul Pogba said that the case really started in March, andn margin of a gathering of the France team. “La Pioche” (the nickname of Paul Pogba) is expected at a promotional evening for the “Golden Score” association, managed by Mathias Pogba and his cousin Adrien Nsomoto, which aims to help the retraining of athletes from high level. “Mathias Pogba arrived the first of three brothers at Shangri-La [un hôtel cossu du 16ème arrondissement de Paris]says a franceinfo journalist present, Paul arrived a little later, accompanied by their mother Yeo Moriba. During the evening, the three brothers ended up appearing together. The atmosphere was good-natured.”
However, a few hours later, the player finds himself, constrained by childhood friends, in a Parisian apartment. They blame him for not helping them financially when they needed it. According to statements from the midfielder of Juventus Turin, two men “hooded” and “armed with assault rifles” tell himament 13 million euros to have it “protected” during the thirteen years of his professional career. Paul Pogba affirms to the investigators to have paid them 100,000 euros and to have signed a paper undertaking to pay the rest of the sum.
This type of threat is repeated, Manchester, where the player played until June, then in Turin, his new club. It is in Italy that he claims to have recognized his brother Mathias among the blackmailers, with whom relations have been strained since Euro 2021, according to The Team (paid item). During his second hearing with the investigators, Paul Pogba says that his mother was also under pressure. In July, unidentified people reportedly came to his home demanding 13 million euros, claiming they protected his son Paul for years, “against people who wished him harm“. This episode led Paul Pogba’s agent to seek protection for the mother from the France team’s security officer. Paul Pogba also says he is convinced that his older brother Mathias is acting under pressure from racketeers.
What is Kylian Mbappé doing in this case?
In the first video broadcast, Mathias Pogba quotes the name of Kylian Mbappé. Paul Pogba explained to investigators that “his blackmailers wanted to discredit him by broadcasting messages in which he allegedly asked a marabout from his family circle to cast a spell” to the PSG striker, which he disputes. In tweets published after the revelations concerning Paul’s hearing, Mathias Pogba takes Mbappé to witness, assuring that “everything is true and proven”and “the marabout is known”. And qualifies Paul Pogba as “so-called Muslim thoroughly into witchcraft”.
Kylian, now do you understand? I have nothing negative against you, my words are for your good, everything is true and proven, the marabou is known! Sorry to this brother, a so called muslim deep in witchcraft, it’s never good to have a hypocrite and a traitor near you!
— Mathias Pogba (@LeMathiasPogba) August 28, 2022
In his second hearing with investigators, Paul Pogba admitted having paid money to a marabout for a humanitarian association that helps children in Africa, and not to cast a spell on the PSG striker. The latter did not react directly, but his clan is closely following the consequences of this affair, reports The Team (for subscribers).
According M6 and RTL, he would have called the Pogba brothers to have their versions. On a daily basis, however, he does not let anything show according to his coach at PSG, Christophe Galtier: “Could there be an impact on his performance, on his mentality, I don’t think so. And when I say ‘I don’t think so’, I don’t know, because I don’t have not broached the subject with Kylian.” “I prefer to trust the word of a teammate [Paul Pogba]”, said Kylian Mbappé, Monday, September 5, answering a question on the subject during a PSG press conference.
What are the consequences for the France team?
Less than three months from the World Cup, the case falls very badly for the Blues. Paul Pogba is one of Didier Deschamps’ basic men. His morale could be affected, as could relations within the group and in particular with Kylian Mbappé. Didier Deschamps had already had to decide on the spot in 2016, with the affair of the “sextape” between Karim Benzema and Mathieu Valbuena. He had finally excluded the two players.
Contacted by RMC SportsNoël Le Graët, the president of the French Football Federation, wanted to clear up the case. “No one has gone to court as far as I know at the moment. At this stage these are just rumours, he points out. I love Paul. I hope that does not call into question his place in the France team.” On franceinfo, the Minister of Sports and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, relies on “the experience” of Didier Deschamps to deal with this situation.
“I have complete confidence in him, he has all the experience necessary to manage this type of sensitive situation, he has proven it as a player, coach and selector. Didier will be able to protect his team from this turbulence.”Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, Minister of Sports and the Olympic and Paralympic Games
I was too lazy to read everything, can I have a summary?
Paul Pogba, the star of the Blues and Juventus, says he is the victim of extortion carried out by childhood friends who claim 13 million euros from him for having protected him at the start of his career. Paul Pogba also recognized his brother Mathias, among the thugs who threatened him several times. Mathias Pogba, eldest of the siblings promised, in videos broadcast on social networks, revelations “explosive” about his younger brother and his agent, Rafaela Pimenta. According to Mathias, Paul Pogba would have hired a marabout to cast a spell on Kylian Mbappé, the PSG striker.
The Juventus player denied these allegations and conceded having paid 100,000 euros to individuals who had threatened him in a Paris apartment during the month of March. He also lodged a complaint with the Turin public prosecutor’s office and sought protection for his mother, also threatened, with the security officer of the France team. Three months before the World Cup this case falls badly for the Blues. If his presence is not yet assured, the player is injured in the knee, Paul Pogba is one of the basic men of Didier Deschamps. The coach will therefore have to manage a new extra-sporting affair which pollutes the life of his group, six years after that of the “sextape” which pitted Karim Benzema against Mathieu Valbuena.