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French probe opened into under-age prostitution

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 13, 2013 at 12:08 pm •  Published: February 13, 2013

Deharm has always maintained that she told both players she was an adult and of legal age and that they did not know she was a minor.

Ribery and Benzema are set to appear before a criminal court in June.

Prostitution is legal in France, but prostitutes must be over 18.

Those events caused an outcry in France, with politicians harshly criticizing the players' attitude, legislators in parliament questioning the coach and even President Nicolas Sarkozy weighing in on the athletic debacle.

The behavior of national team players has been heavily scrutinized in France — even all the way up to government level — since a training ground strike at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The squad refused to train in protest at Nicolas Anelka being sent home from the squad for insulting then-coach Raymond Domenech. Former captain Patrice Evra and Ribery were suspended for five and three games, respectively.

Former France coach Laurent Blanc also had problems with the players at last year's European Championship.

Midfielder Samir Nasri was banned for three games for insulting a journalist in an expletive-laced tirade, winger Jeremy Menez got a one-game ban for using inappropriate language toward his own goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris, and winger Hatem Ben Arfa escaped a ban but was reproached for speaking on his mobile phone when Blanc was issuing his post-match talk following the 2-0 loss to Sweden.