Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive

Read more

FOCUS

Ireland's missing babies casting light on a dark history...

Read more

WEB NEWS

World Cup 2014: Germany-Brazil inspires the Web

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Boutros-Ghali: 'I wanted to reform the UN'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

57 000 little problems

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Sarkozy 'threat'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Budget challenge for India's new government

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan? (part 2)

Read more

  • French companies will have to accept anonymous CVs

    Read more

  • Germany asks US intelligence station chief to leave country

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Gaza as militants target Israeli cities

    Read more

  • Video: Muslims in China confront obstacles to Ramadan fasting

    Read more

  • Tour de France passes WWI Chemin des Dames battlefield

    Read more

  • Senegalese man awarded French visa in gay marriage debate

    Read more

  • Israel steps up airstrikes as diplomacy gets under way

    Read more

  • Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge congressional action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • Froome crashes out of Tour de France

    Read more

  • South Sudan independence heroes ‘have lost their way’

    Read more

  • 100 years on, the Tour de France returns to the Western Front

    Read more

  • Dozens of blindfolded bodies found south of Baghdad

    Read more

Sport

Top French football player cited in underage prostitution probe

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-02-13

In another suspected case of underage prostitution to rock French football, a player for France’s national team is under suspicion for soliciting an underage prostitute as part of a preliminary investigation, Paris prosecutors said Wednesday.

A France national team player is under suspicion for soliciting an under-age prostitute as part of a preliminary investigation opened by Paris prosecutors.

Prosecutors’ office spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre told The Associated Press on Wednesday that “an international player” is under suspicion after a 16-year-old girl was arrested for shoplifting and his name appeared on her mobile phone records.

“An inquiry is under way. A minor was arrested a few weeks ago, for shoplifting, and her mobile phone was examined,” Thibault-Lecuivre said. “It’s after the examination of this telephone that an inquiry was opened for prostitution of a minor, but I won’t confirm the name of those who could be cited, notably football players.”

She confirmed that the player concerned “is an international player” for France without giving further details.

“Checks have to be made first of all. For the moment it is (a case of) suspicion,” she added.

Three years ago, preliminary charges were filed against France internationals Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema for soliciting an underage prostitute - the latest setback for a national team that had returned from the 2010 World Cup in disgrace and disarray.

Ribery and Benzema were questioned as part of a probe into a suspected network of prostitutes that operated out of a nightclub on Paris’ glitzy Champs-Elysees. The scandal, which broke before the World Cup began on June 11, made front-page news in France and included allegations by a self-described escort girl, Zahia Deharm, who says Ribery flew her to visit him as a birthday present to himself when she was still under 18.

Deharm has always maintained that she told both players she was an adult and of legal age and that they did not know she was a minor.

Ribery and Benzema are set to appear before a criminal court in June.

Prostitution is legal in France, but prostitutes must be over 18.

Those events caused an outcry in France, with politicians harshly criticizing the players’ attitude, legislators in parliament questioning the coach and even President Nicolas Sarkozy weighing in on the athletic debacle.

The behavior of national team players has been heavily scrutinized in France - even all the way up to government level - since a training ground strike at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The squad refused to train in protest at Nicolas Anelka being sent home from the squad for insulting then-coach Raymond Domenech. Former captain Patrice Evra and Ribery were suspended for five and three games, respectively.

Former France coach Laurent Blanc also had problems with the players at last year’s European Championship.

Midfielder Samir Nasri was banned for three games for insulting a journalist in an expletive-laced tirade, winger Jeremy Menez got a one-game ban for using inappropriate language toward his own goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris, and winger Hatem Ben Arfa escaped a ban but was reproached for speaking on his mobile phone when Blanc was issuing his post-match talk following the 2-0 loss to Sweden.

(AP)

Date created : 2013-02-13

  • FRANCE

    Ribéry, Benzema to face trial over links to prostitute

    Read more

  • France

    French prosecutors accept that Ribery did not know prostitute was a minor

    Read more

  • FOOTBALL

    Germany also probes French star Ribery over underage prostitute

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)