Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday declared themselves “dismayed” by accusations about the true age and identity of their goalkeeper Apoula Edel, after Sevilla reported the club to UEFA.
French sport weekly Le 10 Sport on Friday published documents accusing Edel of lying about his age and identity, which were handed to the authorities by Nicolas Philibert, who claims to be his former coach.
Edel first hit the headlines last year when Philibert, who says he coached the player in Cameroon, claimed Edel was 29 rather than 24 and was actually called Ambroise Beyamena.
“Paris Saint-Germain are dismayed by the renewed controversy surrounding its player Apoula Edel, even though the article that appeared in a newspaper yesterday (Friday) added nothing new,” wrote PSG in a statement.
“The third-party allegations are nearly a year old and have not been followed up, the club having provided the football authorities with documents relating to the civil status of the player and his parents — official documents… with which they have made numerous trips around the world.
“It is now up to everyone involved to assume their responsibilities, although some parties are seeking a pretext to over-turn an unfavourable sporting result.”
Sevilla, beaten 1-0 by PSG in the Europa League group phase on Thursday, published a statement on their website on Saturday saying they had complained to UEFA about “a presumed irregularity” concerning Edel’s registration with the French club.
Asked about the subject in his weekly pre-match press conference, PSG coach Antoine Kombouare expressed his surprise at Sevilla’s attitude.
“I’m surprised, yes. And disappointed,” he said.
“Sevilla are a big club. We won the match on the pitch. But anyway… All the documents were approved by UEFA at the start of the season. And, if memory serves, Edel was already playing in European competition two years ago.”
Edel, who has represented Armenia at international level, has started both of PSG’s last two matches after dislodging usual first-choice goalkeeper Gregory Coupet and is expected to play in the home game with Rennes on Sunday.
It is believed Philibert initially informed the authorities of the alleged fraud in a bid to reclaim money owed to him by Edel.
The former coach was a mentor to Edel, reportedly lending him money and helping him find him a club in Armenia.
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