In connection with a probe into extortion claims made by the Juventus football star, Paul Pogba’s brother Mathias and three other people have been detained.
The former Manchester United midfielder attempted to pay armed blackmailers the equivalent of £11 million, but they were only able to accept £85,000 in cash due to the multimillionaire footballer’s bank withdrawal cap.
According to The Evening Standard, there is currently a criminal investigation going on in France into claims that the 29-year-old’s own brother, Mathias Pogba, 32, and childhood friends were involved in the plot.
Pogba told police that the gang followed him to Manchester and then to Turin after his transfer to Italian side Juventus earlier this year.
In turn, Mathias Pogba has accused his brother of lying in an attempt to have him imprisoned.
Mathias Pogba is himself a professional footballer who played for Wrexham, Crewe Alexandra, and Crawley Town.
He posted a video of himself on social media at the weekend saying he had “explosive revelations” about his brother, saying Pogba did not deserve to play for France.
One of the allegations is that Pogba paid a marabout witch doctor to cast a spell against Kylian Mbappé, the France and Paris Saint-Germain striker.
A statement released by Pogba’s lawyers, his mother, Yeo Moriba, and Rafaela Pimenta, his agent, said the videos “are unfortunately no surprise” and were in addition to “threats and extortion attempts.”
They denied that there was a video of Pogba ordering the witch doctor to cast a spell on Mbappé.
According to the enquiry sources, millions of euros were being demanded in return for such videos remaining secret.
Acts of intimidation were carried out in Manchester in April and later in Turin.
During police interviews, Paul Pogba said he had always been close to his childhood friends and helped them out financially when he could.
But in January, he kicked one out of his house in Manchester after discovering that the unidentified man had used Pogba’s credit card to steal €200,000 – the equivalent of £170,000.
Mathias, who has played for numerous professional clubs in his weekend video, said people needed to know if his brother “deserves his place in the French team and the honour of playing in the World Cup”.
Paul is set to defend the World Cup he won with France in 2018 at the upcoming tournament in Qatar.