A Paris court has cleared a controversial book that referred to French footballer Franck Ribery as "scum," "scarface" and "gangster”, according to the Guardian.
The court ruled that the journalist, Danielle Riolo was within his rights to describe Franck Ribéry as “scum” in a book about French football published in 2013.
The writer perhaps angered by the poor showing of France at the 2010 World Cup, took a swipe at the Les Blue (national team), in the book, Racaille Football Club (Scum Football Club) when they were shown the exit in the group stages.
The French media regarded the scandal in 2009, where Ribery and Real Madrid's Karim Benzema were accused of having sex with an underage prostitute, as an incident that jeopardized France's preparations for the tournament in South Africa.
The judge cited Roselyn Bachelot, the French sports minister who referred to some of the French players as “gangsters” and ruled against the Bayern Munich forward.
In the book, Riolo accused Ribéry of being a key factor for the team’s discontent within the squad and used several derogatory words to describe him, including “scarface”, “scum” and “gangster”.
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Ribery sued the journalist and his publisher Hugo & Cie for damages but a judge ruled this week that the terms had been used “objectively” and that the lawsuit was “reckless”.
The court therefore ordered Ribery to pay a total of €5,000 to Riolo and his publisher.
Meanwhile, an angered lawyer, Carlo Alberto Brusa said he would appeal against the decision for his client, Ribery.
“My client is outraged that the 17th chamber of the court has described this as an abuse of procedure as he was simply exercising judicial means available to him to request that his fundamental rights are respected,” he lamented.