French police hold Ligue 1 Angers president Chabane after sexual assault allegations

February 6 – The president of French Ligue 1 club Angers, Said Chabane (pictured), was detained and questioned by French police on Wednesday after allegations of sexual assault by an employee at the club. Chabane denies the accusations, but is under formal investigation and is police custody. 

On January 7, a first complaint was filed against the Angers president by the employee, who claims the sexual assault happened at the end of 2019. She describes that Chabane pursued her for sexual contact, and that she was touched on her breasts and private parts, in the workplace.

In a statement to French sports daily L’Equipe, Angers prosecutor Eric Bouillard said: “Since the opening of this enquiry, very serious accusations have been levelled at Mr Chabane. Rumours had been circling around the football club for a little while. The police custody of Mr Chabane is ongoing.”

Chabane made his fortune in the food industry. In 1997, he founded meat-manufacturing Cosnelle, which today turns over €100 million and employs 800 people. In 2011, he became the main shareholder of Angers, who plied their trade in Ligue 2 at the time.

In a statement, Angers said that their president is innocent and will cooperate with the police investigation to clear his name. “The management of Angers SCO confirms that President Said Chabane went to the premises of the Angers police services on Wednesday 5 February, in response to a summons received at the end of January,” wrote the club.

“Said Chabane formally challenges all the allegations brought against him and will bring to light all the elements necessary to restore the truth and to preserve his honour. Determined to have his innocence recognised, he is confident in the outcome of the investigation in which he fully cooperates.”

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1582400424labto1582400424ofdlr1582400424owedi1582400424sni@o1582400424fni1582400424