Outgoing Paris Saint-Germain coach Christophe Galtier, son detained in France over alleged race-based discrimination

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Outgoing Paris Saint-Germain coach Christophe Galtier and his son John Valovic-Galtier were detained by French authorities Friday for questioning over allegations of race-based discrimination during Christophe’s time as the head coach at OGC Nice.

Galtier faces “charges of moral harassment and discrimination on the grounds of actual or supposed membership or non-membership of a particular ethnic group, nation, alleged race or religion,” according to a news release issued by Nice public prosecutor Xavier Bonhomme. He will stand trial for the criminal charges and faces up to three years in prison and a €45,000 ($49,000) fine, AFP reports.

The charges stem from leaked emails published in French media and purportedly from ex-Nice sporting director Julien Fournier stating that Galtier made racist remarks to him about members of the OGC Nice team at the conclusion of the 2020-21 season.

“He 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,” Fournier wrote, per reports. … “He told me he wanted to profoundly change the team’s make-up and limit the maximum number of Muslims.”

Allegations were also made against Valovic-Galtier, according to The Athletic.

Christophe Galtier faces up to three years in prison. (AP Photo/Mathieu Pattier)Christophe Galtier faces up to three years in prison. (AP Photo/Mathieu Pattier)

Christophe Galtier faces up to three years in prison. (AP Photo/Mathieu Pattier)

Galtier has denied that he made the remarks since the emails were made public in April. He said in response that he was “deeply shocked by the comments that have been attributed to me and that were relayed by certain people in an irresponsible way.” He claimed that he’s received death threats and filed a defamation suit against Fournier and two French journalists.

Friday’s detainment took place following a police investigation that included a search of OGC Nice’s training grounds and interviews with team staff and executives, according to Bonhomme. The team has declined to comment on the allegations and details of the probe.

PSG addressed the allegations in a statement when they surfaced in April.

“Serious allegations have been made in the media against our coach Christophe Galtier,” the statement reads. “Christophe responded clearly by firmly denying them and announcing that he was going to take legal action. The club supports Christophe Galtier after the numerous and unacceptable threats he has received and now wants the truth to be established by justice.”

Galtier, 56, left OGC Nice to take over at PSG last season. He coached PSG to France’s Ligue 1 title, but the season concluded in disappointment when a team featuring Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé and Neymar was eliminated in the Champions League Round of 16. Galtier remains under contract with PSG, but has reportedly been informed of his pending dismissal and expected replacement by former Spain coach Luis Enrique.

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