Paris Saint-Germain have reportedly opened an investigation into alleged racial profiling of young players between 2013 and 2018.
According to Agence France-Presse (h/t The Local), the Ligue 1 champions are assessing a report from French investigative website Mediapart, based on information from Football Leaks, that PSG’s scouting department included ethnicity in their evaluations of young players from 2013 to spring of 2018.
Such practices are illegal in France, but PSG’s scouts are alleged to have been required to note whether prospective players were “French, North African, West Indian or African.”
As shared by sportswriter Jonathan Johnson PSG confirmed the reports later on Thursday:
"PSG reaffirms its firm condemnation of all forms of discrimination, racism or ethnic monitoring."
— Jonathan Johnson (@Jon_LeGossip) November 8, 2018
PSG scout Serge Fournier is quoted as saying: “PSG didn’t want us to recruit players born in Africa, because you are never sure of their date of birth.”
He added that all the players recommended by the PSG scouts were French.
PSG’s recruitment has made headlines ever since they were taken over by Qatar Sports Investments in 2011.
They smashed the world-record transfer fee by signing Neymar for £200 million from Barcelona in 2017. The previous transfer record was set by Paul Pogba a year earlier when he joined Manchester United for £89 million.
The Neymar deal has since partially led to PSG being investigated for potentially breaking UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations, per BBC Sport.