Chabane of Angers

Chabane, the proprietor of Angers, a French football club, faced justice on Friday and was handed a two-year jail sentence, one year of which was suspended, for sexually assaulting six female employees.

In western France, Chabane faced trial for sexual assault under the charge of “abusing authority conferred by his position.”

As a key figure, Chabane significantly contributed to Angers’ impressive sporting revival, notably guiding them back to Ligue 1 in 2015 after a twenty-year hiatus.

His attorneys stated intentions to appeal the ruling, signaling their disagreement with the conviction.

He described himself as a man who “started from nothing”, a “demanding” and “authoritative” employer but one who had never had a “dominant” relationship with his staff.

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The club, which he has owned since 2011, was relegated to Ligue 2 at the end of the 2022/2023 season. He handed over the club presidency to his son Romain in March 2023.

Prosecutors had requested three years in prison, one suspended, describing the “unacceptable” behaviour the women had endured at his hands over the years.

Ex-staff members from Angers football club and Chabane’s cold cuts enterprise recounted in court instances where they experienced unwelcome hugs and inappropriate touching, specifically on their buttocks and chests.

The initial report, filed in January 2020, came from a club employee who had returned from a business trip to Madrid several weeks beforehand.

In addition, six others came forward with complaints covering the period from 2014 to 2019.

Another case against Chabane and four co-defendants, concerning the illicit operation of a sports agency and money laundering within an organized group, is set to commence in the Paris region on Monday. All parties involved deny the allegations.

Africa Today News, New York

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