Bruno Martini received a one-year suspended sentence

Un new collective sport is engulfed in scandal. Former France goalkeeper Bruno Martini was sentenced Wednesday to a one-year suspended prison sentence and a 2,500-euro fine for corruption of a minor and filming child pornography. To the “desirable resignation” of the president of the Handball League. The sanction, approved by a Paris Court of Justice judge on Wednesday afternoon following a plea of ​​guilty (CRPC), also includes a five-year ban on engaging in activities that come into contact with minors. , Bruno Martini’s lawyer Me Eli Dottelonde told AFP.

“We are trying to present him as a monster, but the prosecutor has shown by proposing the CRPC that he does not pose a threat to Bruno Martini” or “will crash” M.e Dottelonde noted that no duty of care was implied.

Martini resigns

Bruno Martini has resigned as the president of the National Handball League (NHL). “Following the resignation of Bruno Martini, the League’s executive committee will meet on January 26 to temporarily organize ahead of the elective general assembly scheduled for March 7,” the NHL said in a statement.

The league (NHL) previously stated in a press release that “a possible conviction would lead to the impossibility of the president’s right not to perform the function.” However, even before the legal outcome, its leaders, in the same press release, called on Bruno Martini to resign quickly, otherwise “they are ready to return their mandate for the organization of new elections and the completion of the elections.” functions of the president. The press release states that the elective general meeting “as stipulated in the organization’s charter” has already been scheduled for March 7.

French Federation (1st championship) entrusting the organization and administration of men’s professional handball to the NHLD and 2e division), also in a separate press release called on Bruno Martini to “resign from all mandates in the handball family”.

52-year-old Bruno Martini, who has been under investigation since June 2020 following a complaint by a 13-year-old boy, was arrested in Paris on Monday and taken into police custody. . He was later sent to the CRPC on Tuesday. At this stage, investigators are not aware of any other victims other than the 13-year-old, a source familiar with the matter added. “Bruno Martini could not have known (the complainant) was under fifteen years of age,” given the photos of the minor he was interacting with on Snapchat, his lawyer said.

A career in leadership

Bruno Martini, 1.97m tall, was the goalkeeper of the Blues world champions in 1995, the first major title for the French hand, won by the “barjots” crazy group that ushered in a golden age for the sport. A rich career as a player who won the World Cup again in 2001 took him to the biggest French and European clubs, from OM-Vitrolles, to Montpellier, where he won the Champions League in 2003, and then to Paris. He then moved on to a career as a manager, serving as general manager of Paris Handball for more than a decade, including after its 2012 takeover by Qatar Sports Authority, which already owns PSG. He left this post at the beginning of 2021.

In the process, he joined one of the biggest esports teams, Team Vitality, as general manager, but he relinquished that role last November after being named NHL president. . The investigation targeting Bruno Martini is the latest in a long line of legal challenges targeting French sports leaders.

READ ALSOFrench rugby leaders face the refereesAmong the most vocal were French Rugby Federation (FFR) president Bernard Laporte, who was given a two-year suspended prison sentence at first instance last month for a corruption deal with a businessman and Montpellier club president. Mohed Altrad. He filed an appeal against this decision and withdrew under the pressure of the Sports Ministry and the FFR Ethics Committee. He was arrested again on Tuesday in a case of aggravated tax fraud laundering, but has appeared without trial at this stage.

As for the all-powerful head of the French Football Federation (FFF), Noël Le Graet, he was investigated for moral and sexual harassment and forced to step down during an emergency Executive Committee meeting.

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