PSG recruited players by ethnicity: Report
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.