Volleyball: French star Ngapeth sentenced for assault

4th April 2016, Comments 0 comments

French volleyball star Earvin Ngapeth on Monday received a three month suspended jail term and was fined 3,000 euros ($3,420) for hitting a train controller.

It is the second conviction for the 25-year-old member of the French national team who plays for Italian club DHL Modena.

The incident took place last July when the player and his brother tried to block the door of a departing TGV train to let their friend on.

The controller accused the player of striking and insulting him, charges he denied.

Ngapeth admitted he had been "very annoyed", telling the court: "I have to learn to control my frustrations".

He added: "I should have taken my bags and left."

The incident happened just two days after Ngapeth returned from Brazil where he was voted Most Valuable Player in the World League, where France won their first international tournament.

His lawyer Hugues Bouget described the decision as "excessive, even taking into account the media hype.... not consistent with the reality of the dossier" and said they would be appealing.

Ngapeth's short fuse has frequently landed him in trouble. In 2010 he was thrown out of the French team during the world championships in Italy for insulting then-coach Philippe Blain -- that was just a matter of months after the French football team's 'strike' at the World Cup in South Africa after Nicolas Anelka had been sent home for insulting coach Raymond Domenech.

Ngapeth has frequently been compared to the sometimes controversial Anelka.

Last November he was involved in a hit and run in Modena, knocking down three pedestrians, seriously injuring one. He later turned himself over to prosecutors to "take responsibility" for his actions.

He also received a three month suspended sentence in December 2014 in Montpellier for his involvement in a nightclub brawl.

© 2016 AFP

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