Bernard Tapie, the former owner of French football club Marseille, was attacked in a violent burglary at his home in a Paris suburb on early Sunday morning, the mayor of Combs-la-Ville said.
Police sources told ESPN that Tapie, 78, was asleep in at his home when he and his wife were woken up by the burglars at around midnight. They were tied up and forced to reveal where they kept jewelry and valuables, the sources said.
“Their faces are swollen. They have been beaten up. Bernard was tied up and was hit by a baton. His wife was dragged on the floor by her hair. They were shaken physically and shocked psychologically, like everyone who would have been in their place,” Combs-la-Ville mayor Guy Geoffroy told French outlet France Info on Sunday.
French president Emmanuel Macron called the Tapies to offer his support on Sunday, a source also told ESPN.
Prosecutor Beatrice Angelelli told AFP that Tapie declined to be taken into medial care. Rodolphe Tapie, the couple’s grandson, told AFP that his grandmother “is doing well” after being taken to the hospital.
Tapie was owner and president of Marseille between 1986 and 1995, which coincided with the best years in the club’s history with four French titles and a Champions League triumph in 1993. He was also a majority shareholder of Adidas and held several posts in the French government.
Tapie was also central figure in a bribery and match-fixing scandal in 1995. He was later found guilty in a series of cases for corruption and fraud and went to prison for five months and was stripped of the right to stand in any election in France. After his release from prison in 1997, Tapie became a media star by hosting several radio and TV shows.