PSG re­cruited play­ers by eth­nic­ity: Re­port

The Province - - SPORTS - SA­MUEL PE­TRE­QUIN

PARIS — Ac­cord­ing to a re­port from the Me­di­a­part news web­site, Paris Saint-Ger­main scouts have been re­quired for years to list eth­nic ori­gins of po­ten­tial re­cruits.

Me­di­a­part and French TV pro­gram “En­voye Spe­cial” have re­ported that a young black player re­garded as one of France’s most promis­ing was over­looked by PSG be­cause of his skin colour.

Fol­low­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion based on the “Foot­ball Leaks” doc­u­ments, Me­di­a­part said “only one black player was re­cruited be­tween 2013 and 2018 by PSG’s pro­vin­cial scout­ing net­work.”

The on­line web­site claims that 17-year-old Rennes at­tack­ing mid­fielder Yann Gboho, who plays for France’s un­der-18 team, was dis­re­garded by PSG for its acad­emy when he was 13 be­cause he is black, and “that the club’s man­age­ment in fact de­cided to cover up those im­pli­cated in the scan­dal.”

Me­di­a­part re­ported that un­til this year, scouts were asked by PSG to men­tion the ori­gin of po­ten­tial re­cruits ac­cord­ing to four cat­e­gories: “Fran­cais” (French), “Maghre­bin” (North African), “An­til­lais” (West In­dian), and “Afrique noire” (Black African).

“It was a ver­i­ta­ble eth­nic iden­tity file,” Me­di­a­part wrote.

French law pro­hibits the col­lec­tion of per­sonal data that re­veals the racial or eth­nic ori­gins of in­di­vid­u­als.

Ac­cord­ing to a doc­u­ment ob­tained by Me­di­a­part, PSG scout Serge Fournier gave Gboho ex­cel­lent rat­ings and was im­pressed by the player’s “tech­nic­ity” and “eye for the goal” among other qual­i­ties. He told Me­di­a­part that PSG did not want scouts to re­cruit “play­ers born in Africa, be­cause one is never cer­tain about their dates of birth.”

Me­di­a­part said the doc­u­ment’s au­then­tic­ity is not con­tested by PSG, which was con­tacted be­fore the story’s pub­li­ca­tion.

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