Qatar-owned Paris Saint-Germain open probe into racial profiling of young players

This week has not been a good one for PSG, as they and FIFA boss Gianni Infantino were accused of corruption in financial fair play probe. (AFP)
Updated 08 November 2018
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Qatar-owned Paris Saint-Germain open probe into racial profiling of young players

  • Between 2013 and the spring of this year, PSG’s scouting department filled in evaluation forms on young players that included stating their ethnicity.
  • Report comes days after yet more FFP allegations levelled at Qatar-owed giants.

PARIS: Paris Saint-Germain have opened a probe into claims that young players were subject to racial profiling during their recruitment process, a source close to the club has revealed.
“We have opened an internal investigation,” the source said, after the claims made by French investigative website Mediapart, who cited documents from the latest series of Football Leaks allegations.
According to Mediapart, between 2013 and the spring of this year, PSG’s scouting department filled in evaluation forms on young players that included stating their ethnicity. Their origin was to be described as French, North African, West Indian or African. Social profiling is illegal in France.
The source acknowledged the existence of these forms to AFP.
Mediapart, part of the European Investigative Collaborations consortium which has studied the Football Leaks documents, said the forms were used to evaluate potential young signings.
The controversy “blew up internally” in March 2014, said Mediapart, in relation to the case of a talented 13-year-old player called Yann Gboho, who caught the eye of scouts while he was playing for FC Rouen in the Normandy region of northern France.
A PSG scout who evaluated the teenager in November 2013 stated his origin as “West Indian.” The evaluation form has a box on ethnicity with a drop-down menu offering four choices: French, North African, West Indian and African, Mediapart said.
The investigative website quoted Serge Fournier, the PSG scout who evaluated Gboho, as saying “instead of French, it should have said white, especially as all the players we recommended were French.”
“PSG didn’t want us to recruit players born in Africa, because you are never sure of their date of birth,” he was quoted as saying.
The player in question — a French youth international who was born in the Ivory Coast — eventually signed for rival Ligue 1 club Rennes.
The allegations trigger memories of a scandal that erupted earlier this decade, after Mediapart exposed a discussion in 2010 on race quotas in France’s age-group teams.
According Mediapart, those at the top of French football believed there were “too many blacks and too many Arabs and not enough whites” in the game.


Underdogs with bite and sloppy South Korea: What we learned from the Asian Cup second round

Updated 20 min 37 sec ago
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Underdogs with bite and sloppy South Korea: What we learned from the Asian Cup second round

  • Can the mighty minnows continue impressive run in the UAE?
  • Or will the big guns start to fire in quarterfinals?

LONDON: Asia’s biggest sporting spectacle has reached its quarterfinal stage — and it’s time for teams to find their A-game. While there are few surprises in the last-eight lineup, the form of some of the big-name sides has been less than impressive. Here we deliver our verdict on the second round.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT — Saudi Arabia’s attack

The Green Falcons started the tournament at top speed. They came in as one of the cup favorites and in their opening two matches illustrated why. A 4-0 thrashing of North Korea was backed up with a relatively simple 2-0 victory over Lebanon. Understandably, that raised hopes that Juan Antonio Pizzi’s men could go all the way in the UAE. Alas, it was not to be as a 2-0 defeat to Qatar in their last group clash left them with a tricky tie against Japan. For all their efforts Saudi Arabia were unable to find the back of the net, the lack of firepower upfront costing Pizzi’s team yet again.



BIGGEST SHOCK — South Korean sloppiness

Boosted by the arrival of Tottenham star Son Heung-Min, South Korea were rightly declared the pre-tournament favorites. They had firepower up front, intelligence and creativity in midfield, and experience at the back. In the four matches in the UAE so far, however, they have looked anything but potential champions. They labored to beat Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines and China in the group stage before almost being shocked by part-timers Bahrain in the second round. South Korea now face Qatar in the last eight and, as Son said after their extra-time win over Bahrain, they need to significantly improve if they are to avoid a shock exit before the semis.



UNDER PRESSURE — Alberto Zaccheroni and the UAE



The Whites owe their place in the last eight to luck more than skill. In some ways that is not a surprise — the hosts came into the tournament without their talisman, the injured Omar Abdulrahman, and on the back of a patchy run of form. But, still, the performances on home soil have been underwhelming to say the least. That was summed up with their extra-time win over Kyrgyzstan, who were playing in their first Asian Cup. It was a far-from-convincing performance and Central Asians were unlucky not to beat Zaccheroni’s side. The UAE will have to deliver their best performance for some time if they are to progress further. Their opponents, Australia, have also performed poorly, which may offer them some encouragement.



BEST HIGHLIGHT — The mighty minnows

The big guns have not had it all their own way. That may annoy their fans, but it does show that Asian football is improving. Only a few years ago the idea that Kyrgyzstan, Bahrain and Jordan would look the equals of Australia and Co. would have seemed fanciful. But in the past two weeks the standard shown by the so-called lesser lights has been impressive — and great to watch. Last summer five Asian teams appeared at the World Cup for the first time and it was hoped that showing would act as a springboard for further progress across the continent. On the evidence of the action in the UAE that wish could be coming true.

 

PREDICTIONS