PARIS (Reuters) – France midfielder Paul Pogba was the target of extortion by childhood friends since March and paid 100,000 euros to that group in the spring, a source close to the investigation told Reuters on Wednesday.
Pogba released a statement on Sunday saying he is the victim of extortion attempts and threats from an organised gang and that authorities in Italy and France are investigating the matter.
“We can confirm most details (that emerged in the French media and in Pogba’s statement)”, a source close to the investigation told Reuters on Wednesday.
The French prosecutor told Reuters on Monday that the investigations have been entrusted to the OCLCO, a unit within the judicial police tasked with investigating organised crime.
Pogba, 29, suffered a knee injury in a training session with Juventus last month. He opted not to have surgery and to undergo “conservative therapy” in order to be fit to play in the Qatar World Cup starting on Nov. 20.
(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel in Paris, writing by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)