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Trial begins for top football agent

Published on 01/09/2008

1 September 2008

GENEVA  — A former agent for French football stars Nicolas Anelka, Claude Makelele and Patrick Vieira went on trial Monday accused of fraud and financial misconduct while he was president of Swiss club FC Servette.

Marc Roger, who denies the charges, was arrested in 2005 shortly after Servette collapsed with more than CHF 12 million Swiss francs in debts, less than a year after the Frenchman took over the club.

The 17-time Swiss champion was demoted two leagues.

Roger skipped bail and fled to France, which does not hand over its own citizens. But he was arrested in Spain last year and extradited to Switzerland.

Roger, 45, says he is being made a scapegoat.

As an agent, Roger was involved in current Chelsea striker Anelka’s lucrative move from Arsenal to Real Madrid in 1999, and Makelele’s transfer from Madrid to Chelsea in 2003.

[AP / Expatica]