A former amateur football coach has been jailed in France for raping and sexually assaulting young players.
Ahmed G. was given an 18-year prison sentence after being found guilty of abusing children between 2003 and 2018.
A Paris court heard how he had promised the young players and their families a career in football to gain their trust.
Most of his 13 victims were children of African origin aged under 15, prosecutors said. Nine of the young players were either raped or sexually assaulted.
Judges heard that Ahmed G. had coached amateur clubs in the Paris region for several years before he was arrested.
He had committed the abuse in his vehicle or at his home, particularly during trips to training sessions, matches or other football-related events. Investigators also found that he had sent sexually explicit emails to young people.
The 49-year-old defendant was found guilty of "rape and sexual assault by a person in authority" on minors under 15 years, "sexual propositions by electronic means" and "corruption of minors".
In addition to the 18-year sentence, he will also be subject to a five-year socio-judicial follow-up with an obligation of care. The verdict can be appealed.
"I have the impression that this has relieved them, changed them," a lawyer for four of the players said.
She added that the case "confirms that sexual violence in sport is a national problem".