Paul Pogba’s brother rejects blackmail attempt against France star

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French soccer star Paul Pogba’s brother denied on Friday that he participated in blackmail attempts against the Juventus midfielder.

Mathias Pogba’s lawyer, Richard Arbib, said in a statement that his client wants to “emphatically state that he is completely alien to any blackmail attempt against his brother, Paul Pogba.”

Two judges were appointed last week to investigate claims that the World Cup winner was targeted by his brother and childhood friends. Arbib insisted Mathias Pogba wants “more than anything” to ease the situation with his brother.

Prosecutors in Paris last month opened an investigation into attempted organized extortion, which is being handled by anti-corruption police.

French authorities are investigating claims that Pogba was the target of an extortion scheme by his brother and childhood friends that demanded €13 million ($13 million) from the former Manchester United player.

When the group approached Pogba about their claim to Juventus’ training center in Turin, he said his brother Mathias Pogba was among them, according to France-Info radio.

The matter became public after Mathias Pogba posted a video and tweets threatening to share “explosive revelations” about his brother and France star Kylian Mbappe.

Paul Pogba reportedly told investigators the blackmailers aimed to discredit him by claiming he asked a witch doctor to cast a spell on Mbappe.

Pogba rejected that claim and Mbappe has sided with the player he won a World Cup with in 2018.

“He called me, he gave his version of the facts,” Mbappe said on Monday. “It’s his word against his brother’s word. He [Paul Pogba] already has certain problems and I don’t think it’s time to add them to him. We’ll see how it all goes, I’m quite detached from all that.”

French officials have said Pogba paid €100,000 (nearly $100,000) to the group, which tried to extort millions.

Pogba allegedly made the payment after he was threatened by masked gunmen in a Paris apartment in March while he was in France for a national team match.

32-year-old Mathias Pogba is also a footballer who spent most of his career with lower-tier teams in England and other European countries.

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