Mid-Day Ticker: Ribery, Benzema face trial; Welbeck set for new deal and more

Mid-Day Ticker: Ribery, Benzema face trial; Welbeck set for new deal and more

International Soccer

Mid-Day Ticker: Ribery, Benzema face trial; Welbeck set for new deal and more

BenzemaRibery (Getty Images)

The underage prostitution scandal that rocked the French national team prior to its lackluster showing in the 2010 FIFA World Cup is back in the news.

Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema are facing a trial for allegedly soliciting an underage prostitute a few years ago. The allegations stem back to incidents from 2008 and 2009, when both players allegedly paid to sleep with Zahia Dehar, who was underage at the time. The players both stated that they were unaware Dehar, now 20, was underage, and Dehar corroborated that by saying that she did not tell them her age. 

If convicted, both players face a maximum penalty of three years in jail or a €45,000 fine. According to CNN, the trial is "months away" from happening and could carry on into next year.

Here are a few more stories to keep your day going:

WELBECK SIGNS MAN UTD. EXTENSION

Rising England star Danny Welbeck is not leaving Old Trafford anytime soon. 

The 21-year-old Manchester United striker is set to sign a five-year contract extension with the Red Devils. Welbeck, whose contract was set to expire next summer, is coming off a season in which he scored 12 goals in all competitions and was a vital part of England's run at the 2012 European championship.

The signing maintains United's wealth of attacking options with Wayne Rooney and former Borussia Dortmund star Shinji Kagawa teaming with Welbeck to provide a promising attacking core. With the continuing speculation that Robin van Persie will move to Old Trafford, Manchester United could wind up with one of the more explosive units in the Premier League.

ARSENAL PLAYERS OUT OF FRIENDLIES

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott will miss England's friendly against Italy on Wednesday after suffering a bruise to his thigh. The injury is said to not be serious and his withdrawal is more of a precaution as Arsenal prepare to open their season on Saturday against Sunderland.

Arsenal centerback Laurent Koscielny will also miss his country's mid-week friendly, as the calf injury that he picked up in a friendly against FC Cologne will prevent him from suiting up for France against Uruguay. 

NO TEAM GB IN 2016

The return of Team Great Britain during this summer's Olympics was a one-time thing. 

After a combined effort in 2012, there will not be a combined UK men's team for the 2016 Olympics and it is doubtful that the women will field a combined side, either, the FA announced.

"Within the men's game it is not going to happen again," FA general secretary Alex Horne told The Times (UK). "On the women's side, I'm going to say it's unlikely, for the same reason. But you can understand why it's more compelling. Olympic football for women is the pinnacle."

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What do you make of the news involving Ribery and Benzema? What do you think the long-term signing of Welbeck and potential signing of Van Persie means for Chicharito? Think Walcott is in for a big year with Arsenal? Did you like the combined Team Great Britain idea? Disappointed that it won't be happening again?

Share your thoughts below.

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