Bruno Martini, former goalkeeper of the French national handball team, accused of “corruption of a minor” and “recording of child pornography images”
Bruno Martini, former goalkeeper of the French national handball team, world champion and president of the National Handball League (NHL), is implicated for “corruption of a minor” et “registration of child pornography images”Agence France-Presse learned on Wednesday 25 January from a source familiar with the matter.
In the crosshairs of an investigation since 2020 after the complaint of a 13-year-old teenager, Bruno Martini, 52, was arrested on Monday in Paris and placed in police custody. He was brought to justice on Tuesday evening and vacated for a preliminary guilty plea appearance, the same source added, confirming information from Information about France. He should be presented to a magistrate on Wednesday, who should offer him the appearance for the preventive recognition of guilt.
Bruno Martini, a 1.97 m giant, was the goalkeeper of the world champions Blues in 1995, the first major title of French handball, ushering in the golden era of the crazy Barjots gang. World champion again in 2001, his rich playing career took him to the biggest French clubs, from OM-Vitrolles to Montpellier with which he won the Champions League in 2003, then to Paris.
He then turned to a career in management. At the head of a group of investors, he bought Paris Handball in 2010, of which he became general manager. He remained like this when, two years later, the club was bought by the Qatar Sports Authority, already owner of PSG. The club becomes PSG Handball and dominates French handball, winning nine of the last ten French championships.
Bruno Martini leaves his post in early 2021 and announces after joining one of the biggest teams in e-sports, Team Vitality, as general manager. He leaves him when he is elected president of the League in November 2022. “My projects are visibility, economic development and positioning”claimed at the time: “We must bring the right values”.
French sport rocked
The investigation into Bruno Martini is the latest in a long series of legal woes against French sports executives. Among the most sensational, Bernard Laporte, the president of the French Rugby Federation (FFR), was sentenced in the first instance in December 2022 to two years’ imprisonment with suspended sentence for having entered into a corruption pact with the entrepreneur and president of the Montpellier club, Mohed Altrad.
He appealed this ruling and withdrew, under pressure from the Ministry of Sport and the FFR’s Ethics Committee. He was arrested again on Tuesday. in a money laundering case for aggravated tax evasion, but has emerged at this stage without prosecution.
As for Noël Le Graet, the all-powerful head of the French Football Federation (FFF), he is the subject of an investigation for moral and sexual harassment and has been forced to withdraw during an Extraordinary Executive Committee.
Update January 25th at 11am: the qualification of the interrogation of Bruno Martini by the justice has been corrected.
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