Karim Benzema’s guilty verdict will not impact his participation for the French national team.
Benzema was found guilty of ‘conspiring to blackmail’ in a French court today following the sex tape scandal involving Mathieu Valbuena.
The Real Madrid striker was banned from the French team from 2015 due to the incident, and he was left out of Euro 2016 and the 2010 World Cup.
But he was recalled ahead of Euro 2020 earlier this year, and he has played a part for France since then.
Following the guilty verdict, which saw Benzema receive a one-year suspended sentence and a €75,000 fine, questions have been asked over whether the striker will once again be suspended from the national team.
But French Football Federation chief Noël Le Graët says Benzema will remain available for selection.
“I do not know what Karim and his lawyers will decide, if the are going to appeal, but as it concerns the FA, there is no change,” he said, as cited by Get French Football.
“He remains available for selection, all whilst regretting the situation. He did not play for several years with the French national team.
“This sanction changes nothing for me. He remains available for selection. Even if he doesn’t appeal, for me, it changes nothing. He has the right to work. We can make a mistake, be sentenced and still get back to work.”
“I am happy with the player. He is performing well, he is conducting himself perfectly well.
“It is not a question that the Federation takes a more severe decision than the justice department. If Didier wants to select him, the FA will not oppose.
“There is not obstacle that prevents him from continuing to play for the French national team.”
Benzema helped France achieve qualification for net year’s World Cup and will next be available for selection in March, the next international period.