DOCUMENT RMC SPORT – In early March, the Paris court for assizes sentenced Ahmed G., a former Ligue 1 recruiter and coach in the Paris region, to 18 years in prison for rape and assault. Nine young football players 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 young man of 25 years has never brought this story to justice.
“I wanted to forget that night.” Guillaume*’s words are powerful. At the age of 25, the former footballer speaks for the first time about a scene that changed his life. After reading articles about the Ahmed G. case, Guillaume decided to break the silence at the beginning of March and speak his first words to RMC Sport. “I wanted to put this story behind me, describes the former INF Clairefontaine. When I stopped playing football, I cut everything off. Suddenly I told myself it was my life for it. Now that I’ve built myself up as a man, I can do this interview. When I read the articles I was shocked, it brought back memories and emotions.”
The case that follows has never been brought to the attention of the French judiciary. When Ahmed G. was convicted 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 night that changed his life. At the age of 11, Guillaume moved to Auxerre for an internship with the then Ligue 1 club. To accompany him in this quest, Ahmed G., recruiter for several professional clubs (Angers SCO, FC Nantes or even AJ Auxerre) in the Paris area.
An internship at AJ Auxerre to start
During a first match against the amateur club of Ahmed G., Guillaume sees the recruiter of FC Nantes present himself to his parents at the end of the meeting by means of an official document from the professional club. “We knew that Ahmed was someone who knew people in the football world, Guillaume confides. The first approach was very factual. I had a good match, he came to me. There was nothing strange then. And it started like that.. He told me to come to his club Bussy-Saint-Georges which could be a good springboard to sign with a Ligue 1 club.
With the months, Ahmed G. gets closer to the young player. “He visited my parents quite regularly, explains Guillaume. He had promised my parents that he would take me on a search course at AJ Auxerre (club for which he was also a recruiter, note of the editors). July, both by car take We set the road for this course. Afterwards I remember all the details of the route. On the way there he had avoided the highway to go through small country roads.”
Guillaume describes the influence of Ahmed G. on several players of the amateur club. The same technique explained during the trial in March. In the course of the investigation, police followed the suspect’s life and discovered several messages addressed to other young boys. The same process is used for all its victims. The man sees his “prey”, presents himself as a recruiter of a large training center (which in some cases was the case) and quickly builds a relationship of trust with the young players.
“During the two weeks in Auxerre, he was very close to me, Guillaume explains. He gave me hugs and kisses. It was a bit like my father, he could buy me whatever I wanted, such as candy and crampons.” At 11, the young football fan does not immediately understand the technician’s grasp. The latter tries to condition the boy mentally: “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 the mess.” thanks to football.”
“He rubbed 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 be normal. At around 8 pm, halfway through the route, the former mechanic finds it already 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 see if there are two rooms left. “He asked me to stay outside the hotel. When he came back, he told me that 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, it starts,” describes the 25-year-old young man. He climbed on top of me, he rubbed against me. I was lying on my back and during this scene he said phrases like ‘Don’t worry, you’re super strong, you report to Auxerre and I’ll take you to Nantes. Your parents get big bonuses. Meanwhile he kisses me, this act lasts 30 seconds.”
At age 11, Guillaume finds the strength to fight his attacker: “I turned around and then he put his hand on my parts. It made me react and so I yelled ‘Ahmed stop’.” In the minutes that follow Guillaume hides in the bathroom of the hotel room. Minutes he describes as a “black hole” before returning to bed. The rest of the night will be “normal”. The next morning, the two men left “as if nothing had happened”. At that point, Guillaume admits that he is “ashamed”. After two weeks of internship, “I just wanted to erase this evening from my mind to continue with my ambitions and my dreams,” he says. Subsequently, without telling his parents, Guillaume remained in his football club under the command of Ahmed G.. Even though the coach didn’t try anything on the boy anymore with his father’s permanent presence.
“I testify to release this word”
It is not easy for Guillaume to speak out thirteen years later. His goal ? Breaking the silence to inspire other victims to tell their story. The victims’ lawyers recalled during the trial that several other young football players could have been targeted by Ahmed G.. “Witnessing today is a personal decision. I testify to release this word, says Guillaume. It is taboo to be in the world to speak of sports. These words can be inferred in the minds of young people. It can also mean that you are not strong enough and therefore have suffered things. In reality, the fact that you can speak is strong.”
In court and after years of investigation, nine young footballers described their story. Guillaume never took his story to court. For thirteen years the young boy built himself. “Being able to talk about it now freed me. I didn’t feel guilty anymore. It also gives an excuse for my discomfort in some training centers afterwards. Maybe I mistrusted the coaches… It was clearly playing out.”
In thirteen years Guillaume had never had the strength to testify for his parents. The young man spoke for the first time in front of his father and mother two weeks ago. “They were sad and angry. Sad that they could trust this person and angry, not at me, but only now to find out.” Guillaume admits his father had doubts five years ago when the story hit the press. The former football player had simply answered “no” to his questions.
In this case, which therefore does not concern Guillaume*, the Advocate General had demanded 15 years in prison. The jurors of the court of assizes in Paris therefore made an even more important decision by sentenced the former recruiter to 18 years in prison. Since then, Ahmed G. has appealed, so there will be a new trial. The former recruiter was charged with “rape and assault by a person in authority” of minors under the age of 15 and attempts, “sexual solicitation by electronic means” and “corruption of minors”.
*Name has been changed