Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema won’t be considered for the France national team amid blackmail allegations involving Mathieu Valbuena.
Valbuena, a national team colleague of Benzema, has allegedly been blackmailed over the existence of a sex tape, and Benzema’s name has surfaced in the investigation.
It’s alleged that Benzema discussed the attempted extortion with Valbuena at a national team get-together on behalf of the alleged blackmailers, though Benzema denies any wrongdoing, claiming to have been trying to help Valbuena and not acting on behalf of the blackmailers.
“I have decided, it is a decision from the President of the French Federation and not from the executive committee or the ethics committee,” France Football Federation President Noel Le Graet is quoted by the Guardian as saying.
“As long as the judicial system has not decided that everything that has been published is excessive, the federation will not change its mind.”
Benzema is legally prohibited from approaching Marseille midfielder Valbuena while the case is on-going.
As it stands Benzema would not be able to play for Les Bleus at Euro 2016, the tournament of which France are the host nation.
Didier Deschamps, the France Coach, is said by AS to have accepted the decision to prevent Benzema joining the national team squad.
AS add that France do not have any fixtures scheduled until February, and both Benzema and Valbuena were missing from the squad convened in November.