Married Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery has been placed under judicial investigation over claims he solicited an under-age prostitute.
The World Cup flop, who I originally exposed HERE, way back in April, visited a police station in Paris yesterday afternoon to answer questions from an investigating magistrate looking into accusations that a nightclub in the French capital gave access to under-age girls working as prostitutes.
- Transfer News / Transfer Centre
Ribery's fellow countryman, Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, was also placed under investigation, which is the first stage of criminal proceedings that can lead to formal charges being made.
It is alleged that both men paid to have sex with under-age girls including Zahia Dehar, who was just 17 when the events took place.
Ribery's lawyer said her client had had no idea the woman was under 18 when he had paid for sex with her in 2009.
"It is an intentional offence, he would have to know her age, which wasn't the case," Sophie Bottai said.
"She would have to look like a minor, which wasn't the case; she would have to tell him she was a minor, which wasn't the case, since all over the press she claimed that she was an adult and that she was more than 20 years old."
Under French law, paid sex with someone under the age of 18 is regarded as sex with a minor - even if the general age of consent is 15 - and punishable by three years in jail and a fine of 45,000 euros (£38,000).
Miss Dehar said she never told her age to the two players.
Both players were freed after questioning yesterday. Ribery and Benzema both deny any wrongdoing.
The case continues.