Joël Thibault, sports chaplain and evangelical pastor speaks on BFMTV in the context of the Pogba affair

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On September 1, sports chaplain Joël Thibault was received on BFMTV to discuss the Pogba affair and in particular the question of witchcraft in the world of football. 

As part of a dark case of extortion allegedly suffered by footballer Paul Pogba, revelations concerning the involvement of a marabout have made headlines. The striker's brother, Mathias Pogba, has indeed claimed that the famous player would have paid a marabout to cast a spell on Kylian Mbappé.

The continuous news channel BFMTV dedicated on September 1 about twenty minutes to this "new episode of the Pogba saga" in the 90 minutes presented by Aurélie Casse.

“Where are we in this case? Is witchcraft part of daily reality in football? “, asks the journalist in particular to her guests, including the sports chaplain and evangelical pastor Joël Thibault, among others known to accompany Olivier Giroud.

The pastor has also produced a documentary "shock on marabouts and occultism in sport" entitled "C'est pas mental" of which here is the trailer:

He explains that it is indeed a widespread practice in the world of football, especially in Africa. Nevertheless, he specifies that there are also “forms of magnetism in France”. "Marabouts are not just in other countries," he says.

The journalist also questioned him during this program about his role as chaplain.

“The objective is to seek love and benevolence. So with someone like Olivier [Giroud] who asks himself questions about his existence, about hope... we are going to do Bible studies, and the main subject is the teaching of Christ, it is 'love one another and bless those who want to curse you,” he explains, pointing out that it’s “kind of the opposite of casting spells.”

When Aurélie Casse asks him if he can, on the other hand, pray for him to score a goal, the pastor replies that it is possible but that it is not the goal, except perhaps if it allows him to " bear witness to his faith. “The goal, explains Joël Thibault, is above all that he can be well and at peace”.

"The issue in Christianity is not success, it's not the millions we're going to make," he continues, "It's a question of unity and being well." It also evokes the love of God: “knowing that you are loved is important”.

"Where the marabout says 'one cannot be loved by everyone, so protection is needed', our protection is to pray to God for peace".

Franceinfo, who had access to new revelations, said Sunday that Paul Pogba auditioned a second time in August would have admitted having paid money to a marabout, but for a humanitarian association. He therefore denies his brother's accusations.

Camille Westphal Perrier

Image credit: Shutterstock / Christian Bertrand

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