France’s World Cup preparations have been overshadowed by news that players, including the Franck Ribery, had been called as witnesses by police investigating a prostitution ring.
Ribery, 27, and Sidney Govou, 30, were summoned before an examining judge following allegations that a Paris nightclub was employing under-age girls.
Many players are said to be regulars at the club, with at least one said to have had sex with a prostitute under the age of 18.
Under French law this is an offence which carries a sentence of up to three years in prison.
The unnamed player has admitted sleeping with the girl, but said he believed she was an adult at the time.
A judicial source said the players involved were unlikely to be charged.
Sophie Bottai, Ribery’s lawyer, said: “My client was called as a witness, but had no other part to play in this matter. The matter stops there.”
Counsel for Govou also denied any wrongdoing.
Jean-Pierre Escalettes, president of the French Football Federation, said: “An investigation is under way. There is nothing else to say at the moment.”
Judge Yves Dando said he was speaking to Ribery and Govou solely as witnesses, but their involvement in a sex scandal will come at the worst possible time for France as they prepare for this summer’s World Cup finals.
The team was widely criticised last year for the way they qualified for the World Cup finals.