Benzema restraining order lifted

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is free to represent France at Euro 2016 after his restraining order was definitively lifted on Friday.

In a statement released by the Versailles Court of Appeal, Benzema is allowed to make contact with international teammate Mathieu Valbuena again, thus opening the door for both players to represent Les Bleus together this summer.

“This aspect of the judicial review was the only one which mattered [to Benzema]. We’re not particularly concerned about the rest,” the forward’s lawyer Sylvain Cormier told reporters via Cadena SER.

“[On whether his client will be recalled by France], we’ve passed the first stage, so we welcome [the verdict] from that standpoint. He’s very happy.”

Benzema was charged in November for “complicity to blackmail” Valbuena on November 5 over an alleged sex tape involving the Lyon midfielder, before being issued with the restraining order and it being revoked, but the public prosecutor’s appeal meant the final verdict was postponed for three weeks until Friday.

The ball now lies in the court of the French Football Federation (FFF), which is on record as stating it would consider lifting the 28-year-old’s international suspension if progress was made in the investigation.

In this regard, the Court of Appeal in Versailles has also granted the FFF’s request to become a civil party in the case, permitting it significant access to the judicial dossier.

Tags Euro 2016 FFF France French Football Federation Karim Benzema Mathieu Valbuena