France news

Lawyer: Police have not questioned M'Vila

February 14, 2013
By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

Yann M'Vila's lawyer says the France international midfielder has not been contacted by police as part of an investigation into an alleged underage prostitute.

Yann M'Vila
GettyImagesYann M'Vila now plays for Rubin Kazan

Officers in Paris began an investigation into the "solicitation of an underage prostitute" last week, with the development following the arrest of a 16-year-old girl in the city late last year.

Police found 22-year-old M'Vila's number on the girl's phone but his lawyer, Thierry Fillion, said the Rubin Kazan player had not been questioned.

"Yann M'Vila has not received a subpoena from anyone at all," Fillion told L'Equipe. "He learned via the media that he was involved in a case he knows nothing about.

"Clearly, he will only make a comment if he is called in for questioning by a police or judicial authority."

Speaking on the M6 TV channel, the girl denied that she knew M'Vila, saying: "I've never met this man. I've never met a footballer, nor had sexual relations with them."

The case will now either be dropped or passed to an investigating judge.

"At this stage in the enquiry, we have to remain extremely cautious," a source close to the investigation was quoted as saying by L'Equipe.

"What has been learned from the mobile phone proves nothing. We're only at the start of the preliminary inquiry."

On Wednesday, reports quoted prosecutors' office spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre as saying "an international player" could be cited in the case.

That led the French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet to tell lequipe.fr: "Honestly, I don't know who it is. It has nothing to do with the French national side, anyway. I don't know what happened or what could happen.

"That said, it's completely a private matter because it is something which has happened outside the period of an international get-together."

At the start of the month, the French Football Federation announced that it had reduced M'Vila's international ban.

He had been barred from representing his country until July 2014 as punishment for being one of five players who made a near 400 kilometre round-trip by taxi from the Normandy coast to a Paris nightclub while on international duty with France's Under-21 squad in October.

The final four months of the punishment have been suspended, meaning he has a chance of being in contention for the 2014 World Cup.