Surely the end of the career of a French rugby hopeful. Mohamed Haouas, the international pillar of Montpellier (16 caps), was sentenced on Tuesday, in immediate appearance, to one year in prison without a warrant of committal by the criminal court of Montpellier for domestic violence against his wife, the mother of their two children. The prosecutor had requested two years in prison, including one year in prison, with revocation of the six-month suspended sentence pronounced in February 2022 (read below), or 18 months with continued detention.
The solid 29-year-old (1.85 m and 123 kg) had been remanded in custody following violence against his wife. Haouas, taken by "a crisis of jealousy" according to his lawyer Marc Gallix, had inflicted a sweep and a slap, before pulling her violently by the arm, in front of the Polygone shopping center. Facts that had occurred in front of witnesses and surveillance cameras.
"I give him a crook, I give him a little slap like that"
An incomprehensible outburst of violence but that he justified when he saw that his wife was hiding from him that she... Smoked. "I kick him, I slap him like that and I tell him, 'You have to take responsibility and tell the truth.' It is true that she was crying, yes I raised my hand on her, I regret, I did not control myself, I regret, it is not her fault, "acknowledged Haouas at the hearing. And to add: "I made a film ... She has the right to smoke (...) but the problem is that she lied to me. I figured if she can lie for cigarettes, she can lie for something else."
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"His wife, who is a civil party, will come to testify in his favor and say that she does not want to leave him and that she still gives him a chance," said the player's lawyer before the hearing. Mohamed Haouas' wife asked for one euro in damages. "She doesn't want to be the face of any cause. She has her vision, as a free woman, explained Ms. Haouas' lawyer, Florian Medico. She tells you that her interest is to see her husband again and to make it clear that these facts are not acceptable. The path will continue with Mohamed Haouas. It is in search of balance, justice. You have their lives in your hands."
"All the light on the situation so that all the necessary consequences can be drawn"
As of this weekend, this case had caused a stir. "If they are established, the facts of domestic violence accused of Mohamed Haouas are unacceptable," immediately deplored in a tweet the Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra. Adding: "Justice will now quickly shed light on the situation so that all the necessary consequences can be drawn, both criminal and sporting."
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During his last visit to the dock (on May 12!), he was tried, with five friends, for acts of "aggravated violence", including on a police officer, and "destruction of equipment in assembly". For these facts dating back to January 1, 2014, at the end of New Year's Eve, the prosecutor's office had requested a two-year suspended prison sentence, with a deliberation expected on June 30. At the time, he explained his desire to "never come back to court." And to confide: "It's not good what we did that day, I regret, it's not a pride. When you're young, you do stupid things."
Previously, in February 2022, the native of Le Havre - nicknamed by his teammates "Kubiac", the giant of the series "Parker Lewis never loses" in the 90s - had been sentenced to 18 months in prison suspended for burglaries of bar-tabac, also in 2014. Two years before the start of his career as a professional rugby player.
One thing is certain: his career with the XV of France seems already over, he should not participate in the World Cup in France. When he took office, Haouas was one of those famous "UFOs" with an atypical career, such as Anthony Bouthier (MHR), Melvyn Jaminet (Usap then Toulouse) or Thibaud Flament (Toulouse). An indisputable starter after the 2019 World Cup, the Montpellier native quickly demoted in the hierarchy of right pillars behind Uini Atonio (La Rochelle), Sipili Falatea (UBB) or Dorian Aldegheri (Toulouse) and even Thomas Laclayat (Oyonnax).
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Big problem, his international career was marked by two red cards in the Tournament, in 2020 (for a punch) and in 2023 (because of a headbutt), each time against Scotland. Becoming the Frenchman to receive two red cards in his career. Last February, Fabien Galthié, the coach of the Blues, had said after his second expulsion: "I want to encourage him, to protect him, to help him. He led 19-0 against Scotland. He was part of the France team that beat Scotland with the offensive bonus. We will protect him..." Not sure that this is still the case. Answer on June 21 when the announcement of the 42 players selected for the World Cup in France (September 8-October 28).
Contract broken with Clermont?
It also remains to be seen what will become of his club career. According to information from Midi Libre, the club of Clermont, which he should join at the end of the season, would now refuse to welcome him, whatever the outcome of his trial. The ASM, with whom he signed for three seasons, could indeed activate a clause in the contract between the two parties in case of imprisonment. A press conference is scheduled for Tuesday, late afternoon, in Clermont and this hot topic will obviously be the center of attention.
Haouas had recently visited the ASM facilities and he already had a vehicle in the colors of the Jaunards. Before the conviction of his client, his lawyer Me Gallix feared the worst: "What is terrible is that I have the impression that today (Tuesday), if he is sentenced severely, it is a little over. He will struggle to bounce back, the Top 14 clubs will not take him back.»