Pro soccer player sentenced to 1 year in prison for breaking man's skull with rock


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A professional soccer player in England is slated to be behind bars in his home country of Belgium for a year.

Ilias Chair of the English Football League Championship’s Queens Park Rangers was sentenced to a year in prison for breaking a man’s skull with a rock.

The assault occurred during an altercation while kayaking in Belgium and France. Chair attacked the driver of a truck and was ordered to pay nearly 16,000 euros, or $17,000.

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Ilias Chair with Rangers

Ilias Chair of the Queens Park Rangers looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match against Watford at Loftus Road in London on Jan. 14.  (Jacques Feeney/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

There was a “mass confrontation among the traveling tourists” while they tried to get back to France.

The driver, who is only known as Neils T in court documents, via The Guardian, lost consciousness and still suffers from his injuries today.

Two other men, one of whom is Chair’s brother, were also found guilty in the attack, and their prison sentences range from six to 12 months.

Chair is expected to appeal the verdict, and while the appeal is in process, his team is making him available to play.

Ilias Chair in World Cup

Ilias Chair of Morocco looks on during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 match against Croatia at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, on Dec. 17, 2022. (Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

“The club are, and have been, in regular contact with Ilias Chair’s legal team regarding a charge of assault which has been made against him,” Chair’s team said in a statement. “The legal proceeding is yet to reach its conclusion. As such, the club will be making no further comment at this stage.”

It is unknown if Chair will suit up for the Rangers’ game on Saturday against Rotherham United.

Chair, 26, also plays for the Morocco national team, having participated in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The team made the semifinals, where they lost to France. France eventually lost to Argentina in an epic final.

Ilias Chair dribbling

Ilias Chair of the Queens Park Rangers controls the ball during the Sky Bet Championship match against Leeds United at Elland Road in Leeds, England, on Oct. 4, 2023. (George Wood/Getty Images)

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Chair has played for the Rangers since 2017, making 193 total appearances for them.

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