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Clermont and FFR issue statements after Mohamed Haouas' conviction

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

French prop Mohamed Haouas has been told he will never wear the shirt of his new club Clermont, while he also faces the chop from the France national team squad ahead of the Rugby World Cup. Having finished the 2022/23 season with Montpellier, the 29-year-old was set to take up a three-year contract at Top 14 rivals Clermont.

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However, that deal has now been binned after it emerged on Tuesday that Haouas was handed a one-year jail sentence on Tuesday for hitting his wife in public. The 16-cap France player told a court he had lost control when he saw his wife smoking at the shopping centre where she worked, after telling him she had given up.

“She has the right to smoke… but the problem is that she lied to me… and I said to myself that if she can lie about the cigarette, she could lie about other things,” he told the court in Montpellier.

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The court did not follow the recommendations of the prosecution, who had called for the prop to face 18 months in prison, beginning immediately. Instead, Haouas will remain free while he launches an appeal, or he could wear an electronic tag.

One thing that appears certain is that Haouas won’t be playing for Clermont in 2023/24. A statement read: “The court has just rendered its decision in the domestic violence case concerning Mohamed Haouas. At the end of this sentence, he has, like the Public Prosecutor’s Office, 10 days to possibly appeal.

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“The charges against Mohamed Haouas, which he has acknowledged, are unacceptable. Beyond the ethics advocated by our sport and as recalled by the minister delegate Amelie Oudea-Castera, they are totally incompatible with the respect and values taught and cultivated within the ASM, from the rugby school to the professional team.

“By his behavior, Mohamed Haouas puts himself in total opposition to our identity and our convictions, and in the state of the elements we have, he will not be able to wear, on the field, the colours of our club.”

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Meanwhile, an FFR statement stated that Fabien Galthie will speak about the Haouas situation at a press briefing on June 7. “We express our dismay at this situation and condemn in the strongest terms all forms of violence, especially violence against women.

“Mohammed Haouas’ behaviour is unacceptable and incompatible with the representation of our nation at the international level,” read the statement.

“The staff of the XV de France will speak on June 7 at the press conference of the coach and the general manager initially planned.”

Vice-president Serge Simon said: “Mohammed Haouas’ conduct is contrary to the principles that underpin our sport and our national team. Being a member of the France team implies an irreproachable respect for the values of respect and integrity. Firmness is our duty in such circumstances.”

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