Messi’s Ballon d’Or Win Under Scrutiny Amid PSG’s Alleged Lobbying
Amidst the ongoing judicial scrutiny surrounding Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), recent revelations have unveiled alleged connections between the prestigious Ballon d’Or award and the club’s lobbying efforts. Reports from Le Monde and Mediapart have shed light on purported attempts by PSG to influence the Ballon d’Or outcomes, particularly during the years 2020 and 2021. The focus of these alleged efforts was linked to Pascal Ferré, who previously presided over France Football magazine, the presenting entity of the esteemed football accolade.
Le Monde’s disclosures suggest a close interplay between PSG and Ferré, who assumed a pivotal role within the club after his tenure at France Football. These alleged ties were purportedly solidified through favors and privileges extended to Ferré, including match tickets and a business class flight, reportedly provided by the Qatari government, valued at nearly €8,986. The inference drawn from these exchanges points to a strategic alliance aimed at furthering PSG’s agenda, particularly in promoting Lionel Messi’s candidacy for the Ballon d’Or.
The unveiled police investigation outlines a series of correspondences, including messages attributed to M. Ribes, PSG’s former communications director, intimating the necessity of lobbying efforts, often involving scheduled meetings and lunches with Pascal Ferré. However, Ferré staunchly refutes these claims, vehemently denying any involvement in orchestrating Messi’s Ballon d’Or triumph in 2021. He contends that his vote for the best player in 2021 was cast in favor of Robert Lewandowski, contradicting the purported alignment between PSG and his role in determining the prestigious award.
PSG’s communications head emphasized France Football’s past publication on alleged irregularities in Qatar’s World Cup bid, underscoring the magazine’s history of investigative reporting. These latest revelations have intensified scrutiny on the intersection between football, influential figures, and the prestigious accolades that reverberate throughout the global footballing landscape. As investigations continue, these allegations raise pertinent questions regarding the integrity of football awards and the extent to which external influences might impact their outcomes.