Sports

Jérôme Cazadieu’s editorial after Mediapart’s revelations about PSG: “The troll digital army of PSG”



We knew the Red Army, the nickname given to Liverpool supporters who criss-cross Europe to support and applaud their team. We now discover the “digital army” of Paris-Saint-Germain, The Troll Digital Army, an army of trolls who allegedly carried out cyberbullying campaigns against their own players (Adrien Rabiot, Kylian Mbappé), French football leaders ( Jean-Michel Aulas), media considered hostile (The Team and Mediapart) but also journalists, including myself.

Revealed on Wednesday by Mediapart, this very serious affair highlights the disastrous role played by the PSG communication department, which allegedly ordered a (bad) influence agency, Digital Big Brother, to carry out smear operations against all those who were suspected of resenting PSG. The investigation site is based on a report from this same agency, which lists the raids carried out between 2018 and 2020 by the “dispensary” of the Parisian club.

What then were the grievances of the PSG management against The Team which led to our media being banned from attending training sessions and press conferences? Two front pages: the first on the opening of a judicial investigation for suspicion of rigging during the Champions League match between PSG and Red Star Belgrade, October 13, 2018. The second, on December 8, 2018, on the risks for PSG of having to part with one of its two stars, Neymar or Kylian Mbappé, in the event of sanctions for violation of financial fair play. The most terrible in history? This last information was confirmed to us by several sources, including within the club, which did not prevent PSG from publishing a denial in the process accompanied by a press release titled “L’Équipe, disinformation media”.

A #boycottlequipe smear campaign then swarmed on social networks with its flood of insults, until receiving threatening videos, like a man violently beaten in the face addressed on my personal account.

This new case comes at a time when the justice system has been interested for several months in the suspicions of “barbouzerie” operations carried out by a lobbyist and a former police officer, who would be linked to this same direction of communication of the PSG. A case that shakes at the highest peak of the club and reflects an unflattering image of its institution as Qatar prepares to organize the next World Cup (November 20-December 18).



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