France’s national team has found itself in the media lately for a sex scandal of epic proportions. Unlike John Terry’s recent scandal, which was all legal, some French players could be facing fines and possible jail time.
on April 12th, police conducting an inquiry into a prostitution ring involving under-aged girls searched Zaman Café, a restaurant and nightclub on Champs Elysée. They arrested dozens of people, including several prostitutes, including an under-aged girl, and the man believed to be their pimp. Many international soccer players are said to frequent this club.
Franck Ribéry, the 27-year old Bayern Munich forward, and Sidney Govou, a 30-year old Lyon winger, have been interviewed as “witnesses.”
Ribéry has since admitted to sex with the girl in question, but denies knowing she was underage. Govou has maintained that he has no involvement.
Two more French players have been called in as witnesses: Karim Benzema, a 22-year-old forward on Real Madrid; and Hatem Ben Arfa, a 23-year-old Marseilles striker.
Jean-Pierre Escalettes, president of the French Football Federation, said: “An investigation is under way. There is nothing else to say at the moment.”
Parisian clubs are frequented often by celebrities and athletes looking for prostitues, since French law prohibits kiss-and-tell stories from being published.
Prostitution is also legal in France, with few regulations. Sex with an underage sex worker leaves the accused facing up to three years of jail time, as well as a €45,000 fine.
Judicial authorities have said they do not expect to charge any of the players.
This is definitely not what France needed right before the World Cup. They were already entering the tournament with one scandal: Thierry Henry’s handball that defeated Ireland for the World Cup spot.
I guess we can only hope that they see better news in the coming50 days before the tournament starts.