Leading French football club OGC Nice has sacked a teenage footballer for stealing a teammate’s watch, reportedly worth $76,000.
Lamine Fadiga-Diaby, 18, admitted to taking Kasper Dolberg’s watch from the club dressing room on September 16 and said his actions were born out of “jealousy.”
“Above and beyond all sporting and financial consideration, OGC Nice cannot and will not accept such behavior that betrays the confidence that unites all the club’s employees and all the members of the Rouge et Noir family,” the club said in a statement.
Diaby says he was “mentally affected” by a long-term injury and a red card received on his return to football.
“My difficult situation contrasted starkly the success and aura of Kasper, my teammate,” Diaby said in a statement on Instagram. “I took it out on him without having any reason to do so, maybe a bit because of jealousy.
“Instead of trying to battle on the pitch to provide him with competition for places, I reacted stupidly towards him. My actions were not taken out of an appetite to gain something from it, but out of disappointment, frustration and feeling discredited. Of course, I am only 18, but my age excuses nothing.
“I also took on the responsibility of reimbursing my teammate fully, which I have now done. I wish him a lot of success at OGC Nice and in his career. Maybe one day we will come across each other on a pitch and this affair will be merely a bad memory.”
Dolberg moved to Nice from Ajax during the summer transfer window, while Diaby had been at the club since the age of 14 and was a product of the youth academy.
He made his debut for the first team at the age of 16 and went on to make seven appearances for the club.
Nice and Dolberg are reportedly going to drop the criminal investigation after the Danish forward initially reported the theft to the police.
Diaby has now signed for French second division club Paris FC.