Football boss sues over Hitler parody

Olympique Lyonnais president Jean-Michel Aulas felt “crushed” after being the butt of a popular internet joke

A FOOTBALL club president has taken a man from Nice to court for defamation after being distressed by parody video comparing him to Hitler.

Stéphane Trépier had a copy of a video on his site which took up a popular internet fad: putting joke subtitles on to a scene from the film Downfall.

In the film, the Nazi leader, played by German actor Bruno Ganz, rants to his senior generals. In numerous parody versions, the subtitles have him moaning about Cristiano Ronaldo being sold to Real Madrid, the ending of the graphic novel Watchmen being changed in the film version, etc.

However being the butt of the joke was too much for Jean-Michel Aulas of the Ligue 1 club Olympique Lyonnais, who said “the internet must not be a free pass to do just anything”. According to his lawyer, Alain Jakubowicz: “The day when he discovered this video, I saw a crushed, humiliated man.”

In his defence, Mr Trépier, a 23-year-old engineering student, said the video was not even his. It is understood to have been made by a Lyon supporter, with an internet user name of Pachak, who has not been charged. Mr Trépier’s lawyer said dozens of well-known figures had been parodied in the same way.

The public prosecutor said he was only seeking a symbolic one euro penalty. “You don’t expect kids to have a refined sense of humour,” he said. A judgment will be made on February 1.