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PSG: New scandal surrounding Lionel Messi’s Ballon d’Or

Photo by Icon Sport - Lionel MESSI - Theatre du Chatelet - Paris (France)

Paris Saint-Germain is once again at the center of a scandal. Information revealed by Le Monde and Mediapart suggests close ties between a member of the capital club and Pascal Ferré, former editor-in-chief of France Football and in charge of organizing the Ballon d’Or.

According to this information, Jean-Martial Ribes, former PSG communications director, who is currently under investigation for corruption and influence peddling, is alleged to have lobbied Pascal Ferré. Ribes is said to have offered Ferré all-expenses-paid trips to Qatar, facilitated access to the Parc des Princes, and had France Football articles about illegal commissions paid by Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, the PSG president, removed.

A message sent by Ribes to PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaïfi in 2021 confirms these allegations. Ribes writes: “We’re going to lobby, so let’s have lunch with Pascal (Ferré).”

Mediapart and Le Monde suggest that these gifts and favors were an attempt to lobby for Lionel Messi to win the 2021 Ballon d’Or. Messi, who was then playing for PSG, won the trophy for the seventh time in his career.

Pascal Ferré, who joined PSG as director of communications in 2022, has not yet commented on the allegations.

Potential impact of the scandal

If these allegations are confirmed, they could have a significant impact on PSG and French football.

The capital club could be sanctioned by the French Football Federation (FFF) or UEFA. Lionel Messi’s Ballon d’Or could also be called into question.

The scandal could also tarnish the image of French football, which has already been tarnished by corruption cases that have shaken the country in recent years.

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