The 2023 Rugby World Cup could go ahead without Mohamed Houas. The pillar of the XV of France of rugby could be forced to put an end to his sports career, according to the result of his trial this Tuesday, May 30 for accusations of domestic violence. The rugby player had already been tried twice for acts during his youth.
But it is not "youthful mistakes", such as this violent fight or these burglaries of tobacco shops in which he participated almost ten years ago, which bring him back to the bar of the Montpellier judicial court. Mohamed Haouas is this time accused of having hit his wife, Friday, in broad daylight and in front of multiple witnesses and CCTV cameras, in a shopping center in Montpellier. Hence this trial in immediate appearance, at 1:30 p.m.
The Montpellier colossus (1.85 m, 123 kilos), nicknamed "Kubiac" by his partners, in reference to a gluttonous giant from a TV series of the 1990s, had nevertheless ensured during his last appearance on the bench of the defendants, on May 12, that his goal was to "never come back to court again": "It's not good what we did that day, I'm sorry, it's not a pride. When you're young, you do stupid things, "he said then, while he was on trial, with five friends, in particular for "aggravated violence".
For these facts dating back to January 1, 2014, after New Year's Eve, the prosecution had requested a two-year suspended prison sentence, with a deliberation expected on June 30. A year earlier, in February 2022, he had been sentenced to an 18-month suspended prison sentence for burglaries, also in 2014. Two years before the start of his professional rugby career.
Mohamed Haouas "has a judicial background", his lawyer, Marc Gallix, conceded to AFP on Sunday, and the major challenge of this new hearing will be to "get him out of prison". Even if he escaped detention, the sporting future of the international in the 16 selections seems seriously compromised, these new legal setbacks coming on top of less accomplished sporting performances.
Pillar of the MHR since the start of his career, Mohamed Haouas was to leave for three years under the colors of Clermont. Contacted by AFP, the Auvergne club did not comment on the arrest of its future player, whose contract begins on July 1.
But it is also his international future which is on hold, a few days before the announcement, on June 21, by Fabien Galthié, the coach of the Blues, of the 42 players selected for the Rugby World Cup (September 8-28 October) in France. Appearing like a meteorite within the XV of France, at the start of the Fabien Galthié era, and quickly indisputable holder, Haouas, who came to rugby late, after taekwondo, then fell back in the hierarchy.
Blame it on more mixed performance first. But also two strokes of blood sanctioned by two final expulsions, each time against Scotland, during the Six Nations tournament: in 2020, for a punch in the face, then this year, for a whim. "I want to protect him, help him, encourage him," said Fabien Galthié, after this new tripping of the Montpellier pillar, the only French international to have received two red cards. But, with this new court case, it will be complicated to "protect" him.
"If they are established, the facts alleged against Mohamed Haouas are unacceptable" put pressure on Saturday the Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, affirming that "all the consequences which would be imposed" should then be "drawn", " both criminally and sportingly".