Paris Saint-Germain and Morocco defender Achraf Hakimi was charged with rape on Friday, the Agence France-Presse reported.
The 24-year-old was questioned by prosecutors on Thursday regarding accusations made by a 24-year-old woman. He was charged shortly afterwards.
“Hakimi allegedly paid for his accuser to travel to his home in the Paris suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt last Saturday while his wife and children were away on holiday,” the French outlet wrote. “The woman went to a police station on Sunday and was questioned by prosecutors on Wednesday, according to sources close to the case.”
Hakimi was seen training with his PSG teammates on Friday morning; he was a key part of Morocco’s historic run to the semifinals of the World Cup in Qatar last year. They were the first African country to ever make a World Cup final four.
A spokesperson for PSG said the club is fully supporting Hakimi, and will “place its trust in the justice system,” according to Agence France-Presse.
Hakimi’s lawyer Fanny Colin said the star defender “firmly denies all the accusations against him” and that he was the victim of “an attempted racket…he finally has the possibility to defend himself.”
“My client maintains everything that she said. She made the choice to speak exclusively to prosecutors and does not want the affair to become a media issue, mainly to protect her safety,” said Rachel Flore Pardo, the lawyer for the alleged victim.
There is no guarantee the case will go to trial under French law, and the proceedings do not prevent Hakimi from leaving France.
On Monday, the PSG and Morocco star Achraf Hakimi appeared at the FIFA Best awards ceremony in Paris, where he was named in the FIFPro men’s world team of the year, per Agence France-Presse.