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PSG Accused of Bribing Ballon d'Or Organizers for Messi's Victory

French club Paris Saint-Germain is accused of attempting to bribe the former editor-in-chief of France Football, Pascal Ferré, who organized the Ballon d'Or ceremony, to ensure the victory of Argentine footballer Lionel Messi during his time at the club, reports Goal.com citing Le Monde.

The investigation by the French prosecutor's office began in 2022. In December 2023, former PSG communications director Jean-Martial Ribes was arrested. Police reports stated that journalists, politicians, ministry members, and artists often approached him for match tickets, sometimes providing services in return.

According to documents, investigators were interested in Ribes' relationship with Ferré. The club reportedly asked Ferré to remove certain information about PSG. PSG also hoped that collaboration with the chief editor of France Football would help lobby for Messi to win the Ballon d'Or.

Messi won the Ballon d'Or in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2021, and 2023. The 36-year-old Argentine set a record for the most awards. Messi played for PSG from 2021 to 2023 and currently represents Inter Miami in the USA. In 2022, the award went to former Real Madrid player Karim Benzema.

Published by Patrick Jane