sentenced for “corruption of a minor”, Bruno Martini resigns
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Paris (AFP)- Bruno Martini, former goalkeeper of the French handball team, 1995 world champion and president of the National Handball League (NHL), was sentenced on Wednesday to a one-year suspended prison sentence for acts of corruption of a minor which he admitted. He resigned from his post immediately.
After the head of French football and rugby, it is one of the bosses of the hand who is subject to legal proceedings. The former goalkeeper of the 1995 world champions, now president of the national handball league (NHL), Bruno Martini was sentenced on Wednesday January 25 to a one-year suspended prison sentence for acts of corruption of a minor that he recognized by a judge of the arbitrary tribunal of Paris.
During the comparison hearing on prior recognition of jurisdiction, the current president of the National Handball League (NHL) also acknowledged the facts of recording child pornography, according to his lawyer, master Elie Dottelonde.
This sanction also includes a fine of 2,500 euros and a 5-year ban on carrying out an activity involving contact with minors, according to the council.
“Like everyone this morning, I am deeply shocked,” reacted Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra on Twitter. “I obviously have a very moved thought for the boy and his family”.
I have confidence in the fact that they take all the necessary decisions, both in terms of disciplinary sanctions and the future of governance. I was able to discuss this with @BanaPhilippe and with @DavidTebib, Vice-President of the NHL. 2/3
— Amelie Oudea-Castera (@AOC1978) January 25, 2023
In the aftermath, Bruno Martina was resigned from his position as president of the National Handball League. “Following the resignation of Bruno Martini, the League’s steering committee will meet on Thursday January 26 to organize the interim before the elective general meeting already scheduled for March 7,” the NHL said in a statement. .
Bruno Martini, a colossus of 1.97 m, was the goalkeeper of the Blues, world champions in 1995, the first major title in French handball, launching the golden era of the crazy band of “Barjots”.
Again world champion in 2001, his rich career as a player led him to the biggest French European clubs, from OM-Vitrolles to Montpellier with whom he won the Champions League in 2003, then 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. It remains so when, two years later, the club is 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 is leaving his post at the start of 2021 and announces that he will join one of the biggest esports teams, the Vitality team, as general manager.
He left it when he was elected president of the League in November 2022. “My projects are visibility, economic development and positioning”, he argued at the time: “You have to carry the right values”.
Legal storm for the bosses of French sport
The investigation targeting Bruno Martini is the latest in a long series of legal troubles targeting French sports leaders.
Among the most restrained, Bernard Laporte, the president of the French Rugby Federation (FFR), was sentenced at first instance in December to a two-year suspended prison sentence for having entered into a corruption pact with the businessman and president of the Montpellier club, Mohed Altrad. He appealed against this judgment and withdrew, under pressure from the Ministry of Sports and the Ethics Committee of the FFR. He was again taken into custody on Tuesday in an aggravated tax fraud laundering case, but emerged without prosecution at this stage.
As for Noël Le Graët, the all-powerful boss of the French Football Federation (FFF), he is the subject of an investigation for moral and sexual harassment and was forced to withdraw during an extraordinary Executive Committee.