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Benzema (left) and Ribéry both endured disappointing World Cup campaigns. Christophe Ena/AP via PA
Prostitution Scandal

French footballer charged over prostitution enquiry

Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery charged after court appearance.
POLICE IN FRANCE investigating a prostitution ring have charged star international footballer Franck Ribéry with soliciting an under-age prostitute.
Bayern Munich’s Ribéry and Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema were taken in for questioning over allegations that a Parisian nightclub had offered its clients the service of under-age girls as prostitutes.
Benzema is expected to appear in court later today and could face similar charges to those of his international team mate. Both deny any wrong-doing over the scandal.

The BBC reports that one woman who came forward to investigators told them she was paid for sex with the two players.

Ribery’s lawyer claims the footballer believed her to be 18 years old when they met last year. The woman, Zahia Dehar (now 18), says she did not tell her age to either footballer.

She also claims to have slept with another French international, Lyon striker Sydney Govou.

Although the age of consent in France is 15 and prostitution is not in itself illegal (as long as the woman is aged 18 or over), paid sex with a minor is prosecuted as statutory rape.

If ultimately convicted of any involvement, the footballers could face up to three years in prison and a fine of €45,000.