Bayern Munich backs Ribéry over sex charges

Bayern Munich backs Ribéry over sex charges
Photo: André Zehetbauer
Bayern Munich have given their backing to embattled France winger Franck Ribéry, after he and compatriot Karim Benzema were sent for trial for allegedly soliciting an under-age prostitute.

The Bavarian giants' sporting director Matthias Sammer told German sports news agency SID that they were aware of the situation and "we will tell him

that we stand by him and that he will get our best support".

An investigating magistrate in Paris on Tuesday ruled that Ribery, who has played for Bayern since 2007, and Real Madrid forward Benzema would be sent
for trial with seven others over the affair, which broke before the 2010 World Cup.

During an investigation into call-girls frequenting a Parisian bar, Zahia Dehar told police that Ribéry and Benzema paid her for sex while she was 16,
although she said the players were unaware that she was not 18.

Some of those facing trial have been charged with "aggravated pimping".

Soliciting sex with an under-age prostitute is punishable by up to three years in prison and a maximum €45,000 fine.

Ribéry's lawyer told AFP that she was astonished by the magistrate's decision, after a previous judge had said there was no case to answer against
the two French internationals.

Both men have been named in Didier Deschamps' side to play Argentina in a friendly against Argentina in the northern city of Le Havre on Wednesday.

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