Friday Oct 18, 2019. 13:00
Democratic Republic of Congo captain Youssouf Mulumbu and his former international teammate Distel Zola are seeking legal action against a Congolese intermediary they accuse of scamming them out money and stealing what they had left of their earnings from the game, they told the French newspaper L’Equipe on Friday.
Mulumbu, who started at Paris St Germain but spent most of his career in Britain at Norwich and in Scotland at Glasgow Celtic, lodged a complaint against lawyer Olivier Belesi Djesi, who heads up Match Expert Agency, “for forgery and fraud”.
“From 2009 to 2017, I wanted to trust so-called competent people but they simply cheated and stole up to one million euros from me.
“My mistake was not to trust someone qualified. I realised it when I returned to Paris. I wanted to find out how much I had saved, and then I saw that I had nothing,” he told L’Equipe in an interview.
“I blame myself. I was naive. I should not have trusted. I’m not the only one. That’s why I’m speaking out so that the younger generations are cautious and do not fall into the same trap.”
Mulumbu has ended his career after playing for the Congolese at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt in mid-year.
Belesi Djesi has been interviewed by French police after Mulumbu’s complaint but his lawyer told the newspaper there was no evidence against his client.
In the absence of any criminal charges, Mulumbu has now filed a civil suit
Zola also filed a complaint for “forgery and misuse, breach of trust and fraud” against Belesi Djesi.
Aged 30, Zola is now without a club after playing for third division Tours last season.
Zola told L’Equipe he had met Belesi Djesi in 2014 and they soon became firm friends. Zola signed over a power of attorney to his bank account to Belsei Djesi who was to look after his money.
Zola claims he has lost all his money including a payout provided by the French players’ union for players at the end of their career, worth almost 50 000 euros
Belesi Djesi’s lawyer has strongly disputed Zola’s version of events, claiming that everything was “discussed and carried out in agreement with the player and the player’s father”.
“These are former players, who have not anticipated the end of career, and who are trying to find a scapegoat in the person of Mr. Belesi,” said a statement.