Paris Saint-Germain coach Christophe Galtier vehemently denied accusations that he made racist and anti-Muslim comments when he was in charge of French league club Nice.
French league club Nice has released a statement in response to reports of Paris Saint-Germain’s coach Christophe Galtier’s racism towards the team’s Black and Muslim players that was circulated by a leaked email.
The people involved in the accusations no longer work for the club, the statement said, adding that “this situation was treated with the utmost seriousness at the time of the events. The club will not comment further”.
Interim head coach for Nice, Didier Digard, spoke on the case explaining that a verdict will be made.
“The club has released a statement. We won’t add anything more,” said Digard in a press conference ahead of the team’s first leg of the Europa Conference League quarterfinals.
“There are two opposing versions; the truth will come out,” Digard added.
RMC Sport published reports quoting a leaked email from Nice’s former director of football Julien Fournier to the club’s owners that indicated Galtier allegedly expressed that there were too many Black and Muslim players in the squad.
The apparent leaked email said: “Christophe Galtier then entered my office and greeted his son, who told him ‘You can check with my father what I told you (Galtier’s son is an agent and had also spoken to Fournier to warn him of his father’s views)’.
“After his agent/son had left, I told Galtier about the conversation we had just had and asked him if it was true. He replied that he was, and that he had to take into account what the city was like, and that we couldn’t have so many blacks and Muslims on the team.”
Speaking from Brazil, Fournier disclosed to the newspaper Nice-Matin that he was not responsible for the leaked email.
“The timing of these revelations revolts me, just as much as their content,” he was cited by the newspaper.
During his spell at Nice, Galtier and Fournier had divided judgments in which edged the director of football to convey that the PSG coach would never be able “to enter a locker room again, neither in France nor in Europe” if he explained the reasons behind their dispute.
In a statement released by his lawyer to French media, Galtier said he was “stunned to learn of the insulting and defamatory” report and said he would take unspecified legal actions.
The Ultras Paris Collective, an established devoted fanbase of PSG, has conveyed that it will monitor the situation.
“The Ultras Paris Collective is closely following the Galtier case. If the facts he is accused of are proven, it is not acceptable that this person remains in the organisational chart of the club,” the group said in a statement.
“We recall that we have always taken a stand against all forms of discrimination,” the statement added.
PSG has yet to make a statement. However, Turkish forward Burak Yılmaz, who played under Galtier at Lille, came to the defence of Galtier.
“I worked with Galtier and never felt any negative behaviour from him about my religion or nationality,” Yilmaz wrote on social media.
“He is a great coach as well as a great person,” the 37-year-old football star added.