Sacked Diaby-Fadiga stole Nice team-mate Dolberg's watch due to 'jealousy'

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The 18-year-old forward is set to join Paris FC after leaving the Ligue 1 club after admitting to robbing his new team-mate

Lamine Diaby-Fadiga says that "jealousy" was the reason that he stole Nice striker Kasper Dolberg's watch last month, prompting his sacking by the club which he views as the "greatest possible punishment".

Diaby-Fadiga had his contract cancelled by Nice on Tuesday after it emerged that he had taken Dolberg's £62,000 watch from the team's dressing room on September 16.

Dolberg initially took his complaint to police before it emerged that his 18-year-old team-mate was the one responsible for the robbery.

Diaby-Fadiga took to Twitter to apologise for his actions while clarifying why he stole from his own team-mate.

"After several days of an unprecedented media storm for me, I have decided to give myself a voice via communication," he said in a statement via Twitter.

"I would like to first of all apologise to the fans and those who love Le Gym. A lot of them supported me and showed me kindness since I made my professional debut, as a youngster from the local region who joined the club when I was 14. Their reactions embody the level of disappointment that they feel towards me and I owe them an explanation.

"I proudly wore the club of my childhood's shirt last season in Ligue 1. I was unfortunately injured for several months and my return to competitive action was further delayed following a red card I picked up whilst playing for the U19s.

"That affected me mentally and my difficult situation contrasted starkly the success and aura of Kasper, my team-mate. 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 therefore owned up to what I had done to Kasper, Mr Fournier, the Director General of the club, Patrick Vieira, my coach and Dante, my captain. One by one, I apologised to each one of them.

"I also took on the responsibility of reimbursing my team-mate 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.

"Now, I am leaving the club where I had always wanted to succeed and enjoy myself, which for me is the greatest possible punishment. I thank all those who believed in me. I hope to be able to prove one day that they were right and that I am worth more than what has happened. Redemption for me will come on the football pitch and I now want to concentrate on my passion: football.'"

Dolberg and Nice are expected to drop a criminal investigation into the matter.

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Diaby-Fadiga, now set to sign with Ligue 2 side Paris FC following his release, had been with the club since the age of 13 and has represented France up to the Under-18 level.

He made his first-team debut with Nice at age 16 and went onto make seven total appearances for the Ligue 1 outfit.

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