Football star Paul Pogba has reportedly told French authorities about an alleged plot to blackmail him by a gang that dragged him to a Paris apartment in March and demanded £11m as they threatened him with assault rifles.
The 29-year-old, who has won the World Cup with France, said the men wanted the money for ‘protection services’ stretching back 13 years, including for the time he spent in Manchester.
The allegations came after Pogba’s brother Mathias published a bizarre video online on Saturday night – in four languages (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 ‘are unfortunately no surprise’ and were in addition to other ‘threats and extortion attempts’.
One such threat, Pogba reportedly told investigators, was to claim that he had asked a witch doctor to cast a spell on Paris Saint-Germain superstar and French teammate Kylian Mbappe, something which Pogba denies doing.
Judicial sources in Paris confirmed on Sunday that an investigation for ‘attempted extortion in an organised gang’ has been opened. On Sunday night a source close to the case told the Franceinfo news outlet that Pogba’s ‘big brother and childhood friends’ are all named as suspects.
But last night, Mathias – who had spells in English football at Wrexham, Crewe and Crawley Town – denied the claims from his better-known sibling in a furious Twitter outburst.
He wrote: ‘Paul, you really wanted to shut me up completely to lie and send me to prison, I suspected it now it’s true, my version of the facts happens and unlike you.’