Mathias Pogba insists he is ‘a complete stranger’ to any extortion attempt against his brother, Paul Pogba, according to his lawyer Richard Arbib.
Pogba – the former Manchester United star who rejoined Juventus in the summer – has claimed his brother and ‘childhood friends’ were part of a group who targeted him at the club’s training centre in Turin.
In France, two judges have been appointed to investigate these allegations, but Arbib said Mathias wants ‘more than anything else’ to ease the situation with the World Cup winner.
He added that he wants ‘to state emphatically that he is a complete stranger to any extortion attempt against his brother, Paul Pogba’.
Franceinfo radio claimed that the group, armed with MI6 assault rifles, demanded €13million (£13m) from Paul Pogba.
Paul reportedly paid €100,000 (£100,000) to the group to ‘save time’, after he was threatened by masked, armed men in a Paris apartment while on international duty – only to see another multi-million demand issued.
The initial investigations had been entrusted to the OCLCO, a unit within the judicial police tasked with investigating organised crime.
Mathias Pogba, 32, is also a football player, who had spells in British football at Wrexham, Crewe Alexandra, Crawley Town and Partick Thistle.
Paul Pogba (L) and his brother Mathias are in a legal dispute over alleged blackmail claims, with the latter claiming he is a ‘complete stranger’ to the allegations
Kylian Mbappe (R) spoke to Paul (L) and Mathias Pogba about his involvement in their feud
The case became public knowledge after Mathias threatened to share ‘great revelations’ about his brother and Paul’s international teammate Kylian Mbappe. The pair won the 2018 World Cup together with France.
There was a claim Paul had used a witch doctor to cast a spell on Mbappe, something he denies, and said was made up to discredit him.
Mbappe, 23, reportedly called both Paul and Mathias to try and understand why he had been drawn into their ongoing saga.
On Monday, Mbappe said: ‘He [Paul] called me, he gave his version of the facts. It’s his word against the word of his brother. He (Paul Pogba) already has certain problems and I think it’s not the time to add to them for him. We’ll see how that all goes, I’m pretty detached from all that.’
French football president Noel Le Graet told L’Equipe: ‘This case is in the hands of the police. An investigation is underway. At this point, I won’t make any further comments other than to show my support for Paul Pogba.
‘Paul is a man I hold in high esteem, he’s highly appreciated by the entire Federation.
‘He has always been exemplary for the France team for almost ten years after having shone in all of the youth teams. I hope to see him again very soon, on the pitch and in great shape.
Pogba may miss out on being alongside Mbappe during the World Cup following knee surgery
Mathias doubled down on the ‘witchcraft’ claims, and stated that reports about an £11m extortion are false.
‘All of Paul’s statements, from the hearing at the start of August – before my videos – to the response from his lawyers and the responses, from his supporters, are only intended to drag my name through the mud,’ Mathias Pogba said in his latest TikTok video.
‘So I’m asking myself: why rush to affirm that what I had to say concerned just witchcraft?
‘Because it would be difficult to talk about the so-called blackmail in this case? So wouldn’t it be better to hammer home that the big brother is just a jealous, money-grabbing person, ready to do anything to discredit before he speaks? Isn’t that what all false accounts in my name are all about? No, we don’t accept conspiracies here!’
Paul Pogba will miss two months of playing time for Juventus after undergoing knee surgery, putting his World Cup hopes in jeopardy.