Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has implied that the rejection of their attempts to acquire the Parc des Princes is rooted in racist motives.
The Ligue 1 champions aim to buy the stadium from the City of Paris, its current owner. However, deputy mayor David Belliard has publicly stated opposition to any proposal for the stadium’s sale. Al-Khelaifi has indicated that the reluctance to sell to PSG may be linked to the club’s Qatari ownership.
“Why? Because we are Qatar, because we are Arabs? No, that’s not good,” he said on RMC Sport.
Al-Khelaifi has set his eyes on acquiring Parc des Princes
Asked if he believes racism is behind the city’s stance, Al-Khelaifi said: “I think that even legally he cannot say that. It’s really serious.”
He added: “It hurt me a lot. Not for me because I don’t really know who this deputy is. But if I really hear it as a human being, it’s not good. We are France, we are in the country of freedom. I think this is really very serious. For the stadium, we make no secret of it, the truth is that we have a new American investor Arctos and one of the conditions he wants is to be the owner of our stadium.
“Today if we really want to be competitive with other European clubs, we have to have our stadium. For me, the Parc des Princes is the best stadium in the world, there are no questions about that. But our supporters need bigger and closer to the pitch, a bit like in England. When we play, we want to have one of the best stadiums in the world and we want to invest.”
Deputy mayor Belliard refuted Al-Khelaifi’s comments, however, telling Le Parisien: “Calling me racist is defamation, and is not at the level of the issues of this important debate. We do not want the sale of the Parc des Princes to Qatar, or in any case the sale of the Parc des Princes… As a Parisian elected official, I will oppose any sale of the Park , whether to Qatar or other private interests.”
PSG were reportedly contemplating a potential move to the national stadium, Stade de France. However, recent reports from Le Parisien suggest that the club has decided to abandon these plans.
In the absence of an imminent agreement over the Parc des Princes, Al-Khelaifi and the PSG management may need to explore the more costly alternative of constructing their own stadium.