Football

Published: Friday February 7, 2014 MYT 4:27:01 AM
Updated: Friday February 7, 2014 MYT 4:27:11 AM

Montpellier striker Niang charged over car crash

M'Baye Niang (L) of Montpellier jubilates after his goal against Monaco with teammate Abdelhamid El Kaoutari during their French Ligue 1 soccer match at the Mosson Stadium in Montpellier January 10, 2014. REUTERS/Philippe Laurenson

M'Baye Niang (L) of Montpellier jubilates after his goal against Monaco with teammate Abdelhamid El Kaoutari during their French Ligue 1 soccer match at the Mosson Stadium in Montpellier January 10, 2014. REUTERS/Philippe Laurenson

MONTPELLIER, France (Reuters) - Montpellier's on-loan striker Mbaye Niang was charged with driving without a licence on Thursday following a car accident and will appear in court later this month, a police source said.

Niang was detained early in the morning for questioning by local police, four days after the 19-year-old's Ferrari crashed into a tree near the Ligue 1 club's training ground.

"He has been charged with accidental injuries, failure to control his vehicle, driving without a licence and hit-and-run," said a police source close to the investigation.

Niang, who joined Montpellier last month from AC Milan, will appear before a judge on February 24 and faces a maximum sentence of five years in jail and a 75,000 euros ($102,000) fine.

He wrote on his Twitter feed on Sunday that he was not the driver but that message has since been deleted.

The player, who had previously been stripped of his driving licence for another offence, has admitted he was driving when the accident took place, his lawyer Luc Abratkiewicz said.

"He has admitted the offence and apologised to the police for his lies," Abratkiewicz told Reuters.

"He's ashamed and ready to take full responsibility for his actions in court and financially as well."

Niang has scored three goals in four league matches since his loan move from Milan.

($1 = 0.7353 euros)

(Reporting by Dimitri Moulins; Writing by Gregory Blachier; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty and Birian Homewood)

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