Mathias Pogba, the brother of France’s World Cup-winning footballer Paul Pogba, has been put under temporary detention by a Paris court as it investigates allegations of extortion, his lawyer has confirmed to CNN.
According to Mathias’ lawyer Yassine Bouzrou, Mathias Pogba, 32, has been in prison since Saturday night.
“We will challenge this decision and ask for him to be released,” Bouzrou told CNN on Sunday.
The Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office also confirmed to CNN on Sunday that Mathias Pogba has been placed in temporary detention.
Paul Pogba, who plays for Italy’s Serie A side Juventus, made a claim of extortion against his brother last month, in a statement obtained by CNN via his legal team.
Paul Pogba’s statement came after his brother had released a series of videos on Instagram in English, French, Spanish and Italian in which he claimed that he would make “great revelations” about the conduct of his brother and Rafaela Pimenta, his agent.
Paul Pogba’s statement, which was signed by his lawyers, his mother Yeo Moriba and Pimenta, read: “Unfortunately, Mathias Pogba’s recent social media posts are not a surprise and follow other attempts over a prolonged period to seek to extort Paul Pogba.
“The facts have been reported to Italian and French police a month ago and there will be no further comments on current investigations.”
Mathias had responded in August to earlier reports of the investigation in a series of tweets that opened with, “What I was waiting for has arrived: my little brother is finally starting to show his true face.”
In the tweets he denied the allegations against him.
In August, a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office told CNN an investigation had been launched that month “on the charge of extortion in an organized gang and attempted extortion in an organized gang.”
Paul Pogba, 29, returned to Juventus in July after six years at Manchester United in England’s Premier League. He was a member of France’s World Cup-winning team in 2018.
In August, Italian police confirmed to CNN that they were not investigating the claims.