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Chelsea target Franck Ribery quizzed over child prostitution ring in Paris

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The Bayern Munich star, 27, is among four players from the French national team to have been called before a judge in the capital over the probe, which centres on a cafe night club in the Champs-Elysees district.

A statement from Ribery's representative, Sophie Bottai, said: 'Personalities including Franck Ribery and other players of international fame count in their relations a person close to the leader of an escort girls network.

'It is only because of that relationship that they have been or will be heard by police investigating this case.'

The club, called Zaman Cafe, is thought to be a popular hang-out for high-profile French footballers.

And allegations have been made it is also used to house working prostitutes - some of whom are under the age of 18.

Jean-Pierre Escalettes, president of the French Football Federation, is quoted by the Daily Telegraph as saying: 'An investigation is under way.

'There is nothing else to say at the moment.'

Under French law, any person found guilty of having sex with a prostitute under the age of 18 can be sentenced to up to three years in prison.

However, sources close to the investigation suggest no players will face charges of this kind.

Nevertheless, the news will be an unwelcome distraction to the French squad ahead of the World Cup, which begins in just over seven weeks time on 11th June.


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FOOTBALL ace Franck Ribery faces three years’ jail over claims of sex with an underage prostitute.

The £40million-rated winger is one of four French players embroiled in the scandal.

Bayern Munich star Ribery, 27, and Lyon forward Sidney Govou, 30, have already been quizzed by a judge.


Their club sides meet in the Champions League semi-final tonight in Munich.

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, 22, and Marseille’s forward Hatem Ben Arfa, 23, are also linked to the case.

Ribery is said to have had sex with a prostitute but did not realise she was under 18, a source said.

The Moroccan girl was 17 at the time, but has since turned 18.

A judicial source said: “Judge Andre Dando has yet to decide if Ribery is to be prosecuted but it remains a possibility.”

The players were named after police raided the Café Zaman nightclub and well-known brothel in Paris.

Ribery converted to Islam after marrying Wahiba, his childhood sweetheart and the mother of his two children.

She is “seriously considering” divorce proceedings, the French newspaper France-Soir said. Govou, Benzema and Arfa also deny wrongdoing.

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