RMC SPORT DOCUMENT – In early March, the Paris Assize Court sentenced Ahmed G., a former Ligue 1 recruiter and coach in the Paris region, to 18 years in prison for rape and sexual assault. Nine young footballers have accused him of acts committed between 2003 and 2018. For the first time, another alleged victim of this former recruiter speaks on RMC Sport. This 25-year-old never brought this story to justice.
“I wanted to forget that night.” The words of Guillaume * are strong. At the age of 25, the former footballer talks for the first time about a scene that changed his life. After reading the articles on the case involving Ahmed G., at the beginning of March, Guillaume decides to break the silence and give his first words to RMC Sport. “I wanted to leave this story behind, describes ex INF Clairefontaine. When I stopped playing football, I cut everything. Suddenly, I told myself it was my life before. Now that I have built myself as a man, I can do this interview. When I read the articles, I was shocked, it brought back memories and emotions. “
The following case has never been brought to the attention of the French justice. When Ahmed G. was sentenced in the first instance in early March, Guillaume was not one of the victims. The former Bussy-Saint-Georges player remembers all the details of this life-changing night. At the age of 11, Guillaume moved to Auxerre for an internship in the Ligue 1 club of the time. Accompanying him in this investigation, Ahmed G., recruiter of several professional clubs (Angers SCO, FC Nantes or even AJ Auxerre) in the Paris region.
An internship at AJ Auxerre to start
During a first match against Ahmed G.’s amateur club, Guillaume sees the FC Nantes recruiter present himself at the end of the match in front of his parents delivering an official document of the professional club. “We knew Ahmed was someone who knew people in the world of football, confides Guillaume. The first approach was very concrete. I had a good game, he came to see me. There was nothing strange in that moment. And it is started out as that … He told me to come to his club, Bussy-Saint-Georges, which could be a good stepping stone to signing up for a Ligue 1 club. “
Over the months, Ahmed G. gets closer to the young player. “He came to visit my parents quite regularly, Guillaume explains. He promised my parents that he would take me to a survey course at AJ Auxerre (club for which he was also a recruiter, ed.). July, both by car, we take the way to this course. In hindsight, I remember all the details of the route. Along the way, he had avoided the highway to take small country roads. “
Guillaume describes Ahmed G.’s influence on several amateur club players. The same technique that was explained during the trial in March. In the course of the investigation, the police retraced the life of the accused and discovered several messages addressed to other boys. The same process is used for all of its victims. The man identifies his “prey”, introduces himself as a recruiter for a large training center (which in some cases was true) and immediately establishes a relationship of trust with the young players.
“During the two weeks in Auxerre he was very close to me, explains Guillaume. He gave me kisses and hugs. He was a bit like my father, he could buy me what I wanted like candy and crampons.” At 11, the young football fan didn’t immediately understand the manager’s grip. The latter tries to mentally condition the boy: “An important element, in the car, he liked to remind me that my parents didn’t have much money. And that he was the only one who could get my family out of trouble. Thanks to football” .
“He was rubbing against me”
The two weeks of training are going very well for Guillaume. On the last day he got into Ahmed G.’s car to return to the Paris region. Except the trip won’t go normally. At about 8 pm, halfway through, the former technician believes that it is late to return to Paris, the car stops at a hotel. Ahmed G. asks Guillaume to stay in the car while he goes to the reception to find out if there are two rooms available. “He asked me to stay outside the hotel. When he came back, he told me there was only one free room with a double bed. At that moment I don’t suspect anything and I accept,” says Guillaume.
“When I go to bed, that’s where it begins, describes the 25-year-old. He climbed on top of me, rubbed against me. I was on my back and during this scene he would say phrases like” Don’t worry, you’re super strong, you’ll sign ad Auxerre and I’ll take you to Nantes. Your parents will have big bonuses. “Meanwhile he kisses me, this act will last 30 seconds.”
At 11, Guillaume found the strength to fight against his striker: “I turned around and that’s when he put his hand on my sides. He made me react and so I shouted: ‘Ahmed enough'”. In the minutes that follow, Guillaume takes refuge in the bathroom of the hotel room. Minutes he describes as a “black hole” before going back to bed. The rest of the night will proceed “normally”. The next morning, the two men “walked away as if nothing had happened.” At the time, Guillaume admits he was “ashamed”. After two weeks of internship, “I just wanted to erase this evening from my brain to continue my ambitions and dreams,” he says. Subsequently, Guillaume, without telling his parents, remained under the orders of Ahmed G. on his football team. Even if, with the constant presence of his father, the coach has not tried anything on the young man.
“I testify to release this word”
Speaking openly thirteen years after the fact is not easy for Guillaume. His goal? Break the silence to inspire other victims to tell their stories. Victims’ lawyers during the trial recalled that several other young footballers may have been targeted by Ahmed G .. “Testing today is a personal decision. I testify to release this word,” Guillaume said. It is taboo to speak in the world of sports. These words can be skewed in the minds of young people. It can also mean that you are not strong enough and therefore have suffered from things. In reality it is the fact of being able to speak that is strong. “
In court, and after several years of investigation, nine young footballers told their stories. Guillaume never took his story to court. For thirteen years, the boy built himself. “Being able to talk about it now freed me. I stopped feeling guilty. It is also an excuse for my discomfort in some training centers afterwards. Maybe I had a mistrust of the coaches … He played clearly.”
In thirteen years, Guillaume had never had the strength to testify before his parents. The young man spoke for the first time two weeks ago in front of his mother and father. “They were sad and angry. Sad to be able to trust this person and angry, not with me, but just to find out now.” Guillaume admits that his father had doubts five years ago when the news broke in the press. When asked by the former footballer, he simply answered “no”.
In the present case, which therefore does not concern Guillaume *, the Advocate General had asked for 15 years of imprisonment. The jurors of the Paris Court of Assizes then made an even more important decision by sentencing the former recruiter to 18 years in prison. Ahmed G. has since filed an appeal, so a retrial will take place. The former recruiter was charged with “rape and sexual assault by an authoritative person” of minors under the age of 15 and attempts, “sexual proposition by electronic means” and “bribery of minors”.
* The name has been changed