Police in France responded to widespread rioting throughout the country by detaining a soccer coach and his son for allegedly uttering “racist” and “Islamophobic” remarks a year ago.
Paris Saint Germain coach Christophe Galtier was held for questioning along with his son as part of a probe into alleged discrimination, the Nice prosecutor told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Friday, June 30. The move comes after an investigation launched in April, following claims he made racist and Islamophobic remarks about players when he coached Nice in the 2021/22 season.
The prosecutor said they would provide more information on the arrests of Galtier and his son – a player’s agent – via a statement later on Friday. Galtier is set to be fired by the Qatari owners of PSG after a largely underwhelming season in which PSG suffered 10 defeats in 2023, exiting the Champions League, the team’s main objective, in the last 16.
The allegations first surfaced in the French media in April. The reports alleged that ex-Nice sporting director Julien Fournier had written an email at the end of the 2021/22 season in which he claimed Galtier had made discriminatory remarks at several members of the Nice squad.
“He (Galtier) told me that I should take account of the reality of the city and that in effect we should not have as many blacks and Muslims in the team,” claimed Fournier, whose relationship with Galtier was a fraught one. “He told me he wanted to profoundly change the team’s make-up and limit the maximum number of Muslims.”
‘Deeply shocked by the claims’
Galtier said he was “deeply shocked by the claims” and denied the allegations. He launched a defamation suit of his own against the journalist who published the claims and Fournier.
C’est la vie under occupation.