Moroccan who beat German teen to death during football tournament is spared jail

By Thomas Brooke
3 Min Read

A 17-year-old Moroccan footballer who beat a German teen to death during a football tournament last year has avoided being sent to prison.

The perpetrator was an associate of the French football club FC Metz’s Performance Program when his side competed in the Germany Cup, an under-17s international tournament held in Frankfurt last spring.

On May 28, a brawl ensued during one of the fixtures which resulted in the Moroccan national punching his young German opponent, Paul P., to the ground. Emergency responders were dispatched to the scene when the victim did not regain consciousness and he was rushed to hospital after falling into a coma.

“The 15-year-old died in the hospital from the consequences of his severe brain injuries,” the public prosecutor confirmed a few days later.

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The victim’s football team described Paul as “an extraordinary young person” who “embodied the spirit of BFC with every fiber of his heart and soul.”

The Moroccan perpetrator was charged with “bodily injury resulting in death” and served nine months in pre-trial detention at a juvenile facility in Germany as he awaited a trial that was held behind closed doors due to his age.

On Thursday, a Frankfurt court handed down a suspended two-year prison sentence, meaning he will be released from custody immediately.

The prosecution had requested an immediate custodial sentence of two years and three months for the attack resulting in the death of the German teen.

“He is now free and can go to any country he wants, but he must inform the Frankfurt court every month of what he is doing,” court spokesperson Daniel Trosch told AFP. “He admitted the facts and said he regretted them,” he added.

Violence during football matches in Germany has become a regular occurrence in recent years.

In October last year, one football club that prides itself on recruiting players with a migration background terminated the membership of three team members after players and fans of the club rioted during a league match and physically assaulted the referee and opposition players.

And in August, a football coach was hospitalized after being attacked by an 18-year-old footballer he had kicked off the team who had rounded up a 40-strong migrant mob to beat him up outside a Berlin café.

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