Accused of racism, PSG coach Christophe Galtier, “shocked”, counter-attacked on Friday and welcomed the opening of a judicial investigation, on the eve of the meeting at the top of the capital club against his dolphin , Lens, for the 31st day of Ligue 1.
“I am deeply shocked by the comments that I am given, relayed by some in an irresponsible way”, launched, with a serious face, the technician while reading a text prepared in advance in the preamble to the press conference on the eve of match, before specifying that he would make “no other comments on this subject”.
“Christophe responded clearly by firmly denying and announcing that he was filing a complaint”, had previously said a club spokesperson present at his side, affirming that PSG “supports Christophe Galtier” and “wants the truth to be established by the justice”.
“While waiting for legal time, the club calls on everyone to be responsible and calm (…) PSG will not be disturbed by this episode”, he assured, recalling that “the fight against racism and all forms of discrimination is a fundamental commitment” of the club.
The storm erupted on Tuesday evening when Galtier was suspected of having made discriminatory, racist and Islamophobic remarks, dating back to his year at the head of OGC Nice (2021-2022).
– Justice seized –
In an e-mail addressed to the management of the Nice club revealed by the independent journalist Romain Molina then RMC, which AFP could not authenticate, the former director of OGC Nice Julien Fournier, with whom Galtier maintained execrable relations, notably reported these remarks attributed to the PSG coach: “+ He then replied to me that I had to take into account the reality of the city and that indeed, we could not have so many blacks and of Muslims in the team+” and “+He told me of his desire to change the team in depth, also specifying that he wanted to limit the number of Muslim players as much as possible+”.
Justice was quick to take up this case since a preliminary investigation was opened by the Nice prosecutor’s office for suspicion of “discrimination based on an alleged race or membership of a religion” and searches were carried out. conducted Friday morning at the headquarters of OGC Nice.
This investigation entrusted to the judicial police is “in connection” with the accusations against Mr. Galtier, said Xavier Bonhomme to AFP.
“I have confidence in the justice of my country, I can only be satisfied with the opening of an investigation”, explained the PSG coach during his press conference while his lawyer Olivier Martin, questioned by the AFP, was “welcomed that justice is mobilizing to shed light on this case”.
On a personal level, Galtier confessed that the days following the revelations were “very difficult, very hard, of course”.
– Threats and support –
He explained that he had “taken refuge in the work with (his) players, (his) staff” to prepare in the best way for the big meeting against Lens, second to six lengths from PSG.
“I did not speak with my players about the subject, he said, but they sent me back the best answer: total investment in training sessions”.
Threatened and placed under protection by his club, Galtier confided to having “had many messages, many very unpleasant but also many messages of support”.
In the support camp, Galtier was thus able to count on that of Benjamin André, champion of France 2021 in Lille under his orders.
“I think you can’t be in football, as a player and a coach, for so long by being racist. Football is multicultural, we meet every day, we sleep together, we eat together, we live together, we experience things that are sometimes even stronger than in our family, and it is impossible for me to think that from (the) part of “Galtier, said the player Friday at a press conference.