Outgoing Paris Saint-Germain manager Christophe Galtier and his son jailed in France over alleged racial discrimination
Outgoing Paris Saint-Germain coach Christophe Galtier and his son John Valovic-Galtier were arrested by French authorities on Friday after they were questioned over allegations of racial discrimination during Christophe’s time as head coach at OGC Nice.
According to a press release by Nice prosecutor Xavier Bonhomme, Galtier is charged “with moral harassment and discrimination based on actual or perceived belonging or non-belonging to a particular ethnic group, nation, alleged race or religion”. He is on trial over the criminal charges and faces up to three years in prison and a €45,000 ($49,000) fine, reports AFP.
The allegations follow leaked emails published in French media, allegedly from former Nice sporting director Julien Fournier, saying that Galtier made racist remarks about members of the club towards him at the end of the 2020/21 season OGC Nice teams.
“He told me that I should consider the reality of the city and that in fact we shouldn’t have that many blacks and Muslims on the team,” Fournier reportedly wrote. … “He told me he wanted to fundamentally change the composition of the team and limit the maximum number of Muslims.”
Allegations have also been made against Valovic-Galtier, according to The Athletic.
Galtier has denied making those comments since the emails were published in April. In response, he said he was “deeply shocked by the comments attributed to me and irresponsibly leaked by certain individuals.” He claimed he had received death threats and had filed a defamation lawsuit against Fournier and two French journalists.
According to Bonhomme, Friday’s arrest followed a police investigation that included a search of the OGC Nice training ground and questioning of team staff and managers. The team declined to comment on the allegations and details of the investigation.
PSG addressed the allegations in a statement when they emerged in April.
“Serious allegations have been leveled against our coach Christophe Galtier in the media,” the statement said. “Christophe responded loud and clear, repelling them firmly and announcing that he would take legal action. The club supports Christophe Galtier after the numerous and unacceptable threats he has received and now wants the truth to come out through the judiciary.”
Galtier, 56, left OGC Nice to take over PSG last season. He coached PSG to France’s Ligue 1 title but the season ended in disappointment as a team featuring Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé and Neymar were eliminated in the Champions League round of 16. Galtier remains under contract at PSG but has reportedly been informed pending sacking and likely replacement by former Spain manager Luis Enrique.