Paris Saint-Germain confirm they used racial profiling in recruiting players
PSG say they have launched an internal investigation
Paris Saint-Germain have admitted that for the past five years, the club has used racial profiling as part of its player recruitment process, just hours after a new report that it was part of an effort to limit the number of black players signed by the club, as reported by the New York Times.
The charges of discrimination were outlined in a report by Mediapart, who are part of a European investigative journalism group that has used a mountain of hacked documents to create a series of articles on the internal workings of several top European football clubs.
On Thursday, Mediapart published scouting reports that it claimed were used by PSG recruiters between 2013 and earlier this year to assess young players; along with evaluating a player’s physical and technical skills, scouts were asked to check a box noting each player’s “origin.”
Scouts of PSG used this questionnaire and categorized young players by their origin. They had four options: French/North African/Black African/West Indian#FootballLeaks @EICnetwork
(Source:Mediapart/Premières Lignes) pic.twitter.com/LB4ozS01xL
— Robin Wille (@WilleRobin) November 8, 2018
The club claimed that they had no knowledge of this part of the recruitment strategy. They lay the blame of the form, and the system, on an ex-employee who was responsible for leading a team that recruited players from outside the Paris region.
PSG say they began an internal investigation into the profiling last month — “as soon as it was informed” of the tracking of players’ ethnicities, even though they acknowledged the form had been used for years.
“The Club General Directorate had never been aware of an ethnic registration system within a recruitment department nor had it in its possession,” PSG said in a statement. “In view of the information mentioned therein, these forms betray the spirit and values of Paris Saint-Germain.”
The Ligue 1 club are currently at the centre of a scandal relating to the Football Leaks revelations published by Der Spiegel, which alleges the club to have circumvented Financial Fair Play regulations.