April 26, 2019

Prison term sought for ex-Marseille player Souleymane Diawara in extortion case

Souleymane Diawara

Souleymane Diawara

A French prosecutor on Thursday called for former Marseille defender Souleymane Diawara to receive a three-year prison term for extortion.

Souleymane Diawara

Souleymane Diawara

Diawara was arrested in 2015 and spent two and a half months in custody on suspicion of complicity in attempting to recover 49,800 euros ($58,950) from a car dealer who allegedly sold him a stolen Porsche.

The former Ligue 1 title-winner is charged with getting his brother Adama and four others to go to the seller’s home in the middle of the night on March 19, 2015, in an attempt to retrieve the money.

In the presence of his wife and two daughters, they asked the seller for 50,000 euros before leaving with a BMW taken “as a pledge”, with the promise to return it if 10,000 euros were paid.

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The 40-year-old ex-Senegal international is on trial at Dignes-les-Bains. The sentence sought by the prosecutor involves one year in prison with two years suspended.

“None should take the law into their own hands,” prosecutor Stéphane Kellenberger told the court, adding that Diawara was “the instigator” of the affair.

Diawara, who also played in England for Charlton Athletic, retired from professional football in September 2015 after leaving Nice.

His brother Adama faces the same punishment if found guilty.