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Paris Saint-Germain head coach Christophe Galtier has spoken publicly for the first time since he was alleged on Wednesday to have made discriminatory remarks towards OGC Nice players when he was in charge last season. The French tactician was speaking ahead of Saturday's game with RC Lens and admitted his "deep shock" at developments which he "firmly denies" as his lawyer, Olivier Martin, told Agence France Presse earlier in the week. The Ligue 1 champion with Lille OSC in 2021 "was amazed to hear of the insulting and defamatory remarks," which was part of a leaked internal email and he addressed the story on Friday at PSG's pre-game press conference. 

"Like many of you, I am deeply shocked by the comments that have been attributed to me and which have been relayed by some in an irresponsible manner," said Galtier. "They hit me in the depths of my humanity. I am a child of council housing, raised in diversity with the values of sharing and respect for others -- regardless of origin, color or religion. My whole life as a man, as a soccer player and now as a coach, has been dictated by the concern for sharing and living well with others. I cannot accept that my name and my family be dirtied like this. 

"So, I have decided to sue anyone who threatens my honor. I can only be satisfied with the opening of an investigation. I have confidence in my country's justice system. In order to let them work in total serenity, I will not be making any further comments on this subject. PSG have a very important match to play this Saturday against Lens -- all my energy and my concentration are turned towards this objective."

PSG denied to CBS Sports Wednesday's claims that Chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi is conducting an internal investigation into Galtier and have now taken a definitive stance.

"PSG would like to provide a few details," read a club statement issued to journalists. "Serious allegations have been made in the media against our coach Christophe Galtier. Christophe responded clearly by firmly denying them and announcing that he was going to file a complaint. The Club supports Christophe after the numerous and unacceptable threats he has received and now wants the truth to be established by justice.

"While waiting for the conclusion of the judicial time and in order to protect the safety of all, the Club calls on everyone to assume their responsibilities and to calm down. PSG, its management, its players and all employees, have no tolerance for intolerance on and off the pitch. The fight against racism and all forms of discrimination is a fundamental commitment of the Club. PSG will not let themselves be troubled by this episode, and everyone remains fully focused on tomorrow's match."

Former Nice sporting director Julien Fournier has since denied that he is the author of the internally emailed text to Dave Brailsford -- the sporting director of Nice's owners INEOS -- which details Galtier making discriminatory remarks against some players. Fournier spoke to Nice-Matin to hit out at the "timing" and "content" of the leaked email which he is "in no way responsible" while Galtier has reportedly been placed under personal security details for both he and his family after receiving death threats and irate phone calls.

"I am currently in Brazil and far from this controversy which I am associated with at my expense," said the French executive who has joined and left Italian side Parma since his Nice exit. "I am in no way responsible for disseminating year-old internal information. I never kick anybody when they are down, despite Christophe Galtier and my differences, and above all I have too much respect for OGC Nice as the club whose colors I proudly defended for more than 10 years as well as its inhabitants. The timing of these revelations disgusts me as much as its content."

As the accusations became public, Nice also issued a statement. "The facts related concern two people who no longer work for OGC Nice. This situation was treated with the utmost seriousness at the time of the events. The club will not comment further."  

Galtier's position as PSG head coach has been under scrutiny for weeks after exiting the UEFA Champions League and Coupe de France as well as a seemingly strained relationship with Lionel Messi as the legendary Argentine's contract runs down. A 2-0 win away at Nice over the weekend eased the tension somewhat although Galtier was targeted by abusive banners and chants regarding his mother's recent cancer battle and the Frenchman was believed to be close to being sacked coming into the Nice and RC Lens games. PSG's ultras have also reacted via the Paris Ultras' Collective and made their stance clear that they will not accept Galtier remaining in charge if the accusations of discrimination are proven to be well-founded.