Johannesburg, Jan 31: French footballers Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema have reportedly been acquitted of the charges of having sex with an underage prostitute after four years.
The decision by a Paris court ends legal proceedings that had threatened to end in prison terms that could have prevented one or both of them from playing in this year’s World Cup in Brazil.
According to Sport24, although the judge also cleared Bayern Munich winger Ribery’s brother-in-law of the charges against him, however, the five other men linked to Ribery and Real Madrid striker Benzema of pimping were convicted and four of them were given prison sentences.
The report however, said that neither player’s form has been significantly affected by the legal case with Ribery in particularly having enjoyed the best seasons of his career since he was charged.
The acquittals had been widely expected following a recommendation that it was impossible to say that either player had knowingly paid for sex with Zahia Dehar, who was then a minor, the report added. (ANI)