Football: PSG's Layvin Kurzawa the target of a video blackmail plot

France's defender Layvin Kurzawa arriving at the French national football team training base in Clairefontaine near Paris as part of the team's preparation for the upcoming World Cup 2018 qualifiers on March 20, 2017.
France's defender Layvin Kurzawa arriving at the French national football team training base in Clairefontaine near Paris as part of the team's preparation for the upcoming World Cup 2018 qualifiers on March 20, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

Paris (AFP) - Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) left-back Layvin Kurzawa was the victim of a €200,000 ($322,000) blackmail plot surrounding a video of the France international mocking national coach Didier Deschamps, judicial sources revealed on Monday.

Four men aged between 25 and 30 were arrested and charged with the foiled blackmail attempt during the summer.

Three of them have been remanded in custody.

The PSG player was filmed on a mobile phone in a shisha bar in Paris with the footage falling into the hands of the blackmail gang, with sources confirming a report on Europe 1 radio.

"In this recording, the player makes uncalled for gestures aimed at the France national manager," a source disclosed.

When the plotters approached 25-year-old Kurzawa, he contacted the police, who set in train a sting operation.

A police officer established contact with the gang acting as an intermediary for the player to set up a rendezvous.

But investigations suggested the gang planned to assault Kurzawa outside his home in the Paris suburbs.

A team of police officers watching the player's home arrested three men who were caught in the act in August, with a fourth suspect detained this month.

Kurzawa moved from Monaco to PSG in 2015.

He has turned out nine times for France, including their last two outings against the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

The affair could compromise his chances of featuring for his country in their World Cup qualifiers away to Bulgaria and at home to Belarus next month, with Manchester City's Benjamin Mendy among the other options available to Deschamps in his position.

Kurzawa is the second France player to be targeted in a blackmail plot after the Mathieu Valbuena sex-tape scandal implicating former France striker Djibril Cisse and Real Madrid star Karim Benzema.

The defender's former PSG team-mate Serge Aurier, now with Tottenham Hotspur, was censured by his club in February last year after footage emerged of him criticising his then coach Laurent Blanc on the social media platform Periscope.