• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

French footballer linked to underage prostitute

The Local/AFP · 13 Feb 2013, 10:37

Published: 13 Feb 2013 10:37 GMT+01:00

The story, which hit the French press on Wednesday, emerged after a 16-year-old "occasional" prostitute was arrested by police on suspicion of shop-lifting.

When officers examined her phone they found texts and photos from a France international footballer. Although no player has been officially named, according to French television TF1 the former Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila had met the girl in a nightclub.

The player, who was on the verge of a move to England before opting to join Russian team Rubin Kazan,  was recently banned by the French Football Federation (FFF) for breaking a curfew while on international duty to go out clubbing.

According to French daily Le Parisien those close to M'Vila have denied he had any connection to the girl.

According to French radio RTL, the names of several other "personalities" were found on the phone including that of at least one other footballer.

Police in Paris have opened up a preliminary investigation and are likely to question the girl and those close to her before deciding whether to proceed. The names of the suspects are likely to emerge if the probe continues.

The story is being referred to in the French press as the new "affaire Zahia" in reference to the former underage call girl Zahia Dahar, who in 2010 was at the centre of an investigation into nine men accused of soliciting sex from a minor in 2008 and 2009. 

Three of them happened to be highly-paid French football stars; Franck Ribéry, Karim Benzema and Sidney Govou. All three have denied knowing her age at the time, and Zahia has said she never told them her age.

Story continues below…

Bayern Munich winger Ribery and Real Madrid forward Benzema are currently awaiting trial in connection to the allegation face up to three years in prison and a maximum 45,000-euro (£35,000, $55,000) fine if convicted. Their trial, in which six other people will also be in the dock, has been scheduled for June.

The same police department - the brigade for the protection of minors - is investigating both cases.

Although the age of consent is 15 in France, paying for sex with anyone under 18 is a separate, and more serious, offence than soliciting adult prostitutes.

The Local/AFP (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Saudi princess 'told guard to kill Paris decorator'
Photo: Eurovizion/Flickr

"You have to kill this dog, he doesn't deserve to live," the princess allegedly said.

Paying for sex in France: Has the new law been effective?

Around 40 sex buyers are caught each month across the whole of France. Does that sound like much?

Only in France: 'Drive slowly - grape juice on the roads'
Photo: Rexness/Flickr

You know you're in France when...

France gives lift off to tough new drone laws
Photo: AFP

Time to crack down on drones, say French lawmakers.

Bienvenue en France: France cuts red tape for UK firms
Photo: AFP

France is ready to roll out the red carpet for UK firms quitting Britain because of Brexit fears.

VIDEO: Is life on a French café terrace really this bad?
Photo: Canal Plus

Bird poo, bums and butts: Is life on les terraces really as bad as this?

'Five terror plots thwarted' on Riviera since Nice attack
A police boat patrols the waters off the beach in Nice during the summer. Photo: AFP

Authorities in Nice say five potentially deadly terror plots on the French Riviera have been foiled since the Bastille Day truck attack in the resort.

IN PICTURES
French firefighters calendar to provoke global palpitations
Photo: Fred Goudon

Warning: Some readers may suffer palpitations, sweats or other side-effects when reading this story.

Why Paris beach festival could be sand-free in future
Photo: AFP

Is a beach with no sand still a beach?

Lost without translation: The struggles of Calais migrants
Communication problems in the Calais jungle camp. Photo: AFP

So many languages are spoken in the Calais jungle migrant camp but French is rarely heard.

Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Culture
The crazy French writing phrases you can't get your head around
Features
Room for improvement: Paris's matchbox apartments
'Stop telling immigrants to be French and help it happen'
Society
Take the test: How far have you assimilated into French culture?
Lifestyle
Eleven things you should know before moving to Paris
National
France's Marion Cotillard rebuffs rumours of fling with Brad Pitt
National
Eight arrested over links to Nice truck attacker
Features
Why everyone should party in a French chateau at least once
Travel
The Frenchman who hated 'Nazi-Zealand' after four-day hitch-hike fail
Culture
What's on: Ten exciting events across France in September
The 45-million year old underground shells that flavour Champagne
Features
French job speak: All the terms you need to know
'Resilient' Paris now a more appealing city than New York
National
France says it's OK to warn drivers about speed cameras
Meet Honorine, 113, the oldest person in France
Education
Grenoble named France's best city to be a student
Society
New Metro map reveals cheapest pints of beer in Paris
Business & Money
How reliant is the French economy on Paris?
Society
Here's why Parisians want to move to Bordeaux
And the 'best place to spend a weekend in Europe' is… Lyon
Analysis & Opinion
'Muslims in France must be considered ordinary citizens'
Armed guards to ride French trains from October
National
France among Europe's priciest for train travel
2,731
jobs available