By Associated Press
PARIS: French prosecutors are investigating allegations that World Cup winner Paul Pogba was targeted by extortion attempts by his brother and childhood friends.
The Paris prosecutor’s office said Monday it opened an investigation earlier this month into attempted organized extortion, which is being handled by anti-corruption police. It would not provide further details involving an ongoing investigation.
Public broadcaster France-Info reported that Pogba told police that a group of childhood friends demanded 13 million euros from him and repeatedly intimidated him, claiming he didn’t support them after he became an international soccer star.
When the group approached Pogba about their demand at the Juventus training center in Turin, he said his brother Mathias Pogba was among them, according to France-Info.
The case became public after Mathias Pogba posted a video and tweets this weekend threatening to share “explosive revelations” about his brother and France star Kylian Mbappe.
In response, Paul Pogba issued a statement through his lawyer that said his brother’s claims were “in addition to threats and extortion attempts by an organized gang against Paul Pogba.”
A 29-year-old midfielder, Paul Pogba won the World Cup with France in 2018 and returned this summer to Juventus after six seasons at Manchester United.
The 32-year-old Mathias Pogba is also a soccer player who spent most of his career with lower-tier teams in England and other European countries.