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suspected of attempted rape, European champion Kounkoud leaves police custody free

By Le Figaro with AFP

Published yesterday at 8:00 p.m., Updated yesterday at 11:07 p.m.

The end of police custody does not mean that the investigation stops there for Benoît Kounkoud. WOLFGANG RATTAY / REUTERS

A woman in her twenties accuses the 26-year-old player, European champion with the French handball team on Sunday, of having tried to rape her in Paris on the night of Monday to Tuesday.

Right winger Benoît Kounkoud is accused by a 20-year-old woman of trying to rape her in a Parisian nightclub on the night of Monday to Tuesday, less than 48 hours after being crowned European champion with French handball team in Cologne (Germany). Placed in police custody early Tuesday morning, the 26-year-old player, who plays in a Polish club, was released during the day, the Paris prosecutor’s office said Wednesday evening, specifying that “the investigation continues, in particular in order to collect more testimonies”.

At this stage, “a woman born in March 2003 accuses him of attempted rape, during an alcoholic evening in a nightclub in the 8th arrondissement”explained the public prosecutor. “My client walked free. He disputes the facts. The investigation is continuing.”for his part declared the player’s lawyer, Me Mario Stasi, contacted by AFP.

“FFHandball is not in a position to comment on this matter at this stage, and remains attentive to the follow-up that will be given by the judicial authorities”, for its part indicated, earlier in the day, the French Handball Federation. In a press release, the Federation “reaffirmed its determination to fight against all forms of violence, (…) severely condemns such acts, when they are established and regardless of the person implicated (…)” et “renewed its support for all victims of violence”.

At the Elysée on Monday

For its part, the Polish club Kielce, where Kounkoud plays, declared that it took “take the matter seriously and (condemn) any behavior that violates the rules of social life”. “The club will take all appropriate action as soon as it receives official information regarding the incident. Pending clarification, the matter will not be subject to any comment.added Kielce, one of the very best European teams, victorious in the Champions League in 2016 and finalist the last two seasons.

Kounkoud joined the big Polish club in the summer of 2022, where two other 2024 European champions play, pivot Nicolas Tournat and left winger Dylan Nahi. He previously wore the colors of Paris Saint-Germain, his training club. After winning the fourth European title for the French team by beating Denmark in the final (33-31 AD), the Blues were received on Monday by Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée for a ceremony during which the president of the Republic praised the “lesson in sporting and mental commitment” of the men of coach Guillaume Gille.

Kounkoud, who won his first selection medal in Germany, was initially not selected at the end of December in the group for the Euro. He was recalled at the beginning of January due to uncertainties over the physical state of Yanis Lenne at the start of the competition and had to settle for a supporting role. He did not play a single minute in the semi-final against Sweden (34-30 after) then in the final.


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