Karim Benzema has been suspended from the French national team for his alleged part in a sex-tape blackmail attempt against teammate Mathieu Valbuena.
The 27-year-old Real Madrid striker is suspended indefinitely for his involvement in the sex-tape scandal. Noel Le Graet, president of the French football federation, said it was a “heart-breaking” decision, but that Benzema will remain suspended until the case is resolved in the court system.
“I have decided, it is a decision from the president of the French federation and not from the executive committee or the ethics committee,” Le Graët said at a press conference. “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 facing charges for conspiracy to blackmail, and has admitted that he had talked to Valbuena on behalf of a childhood friend who allegedly is in possession of a sextape featuring the Lyon midfielder, but he’s denying that he’s done anything wrong.
Sylvain Cormier, Benzema’s lawyer has said that his client is innocent of any wrongdoing.
“He took no part, I state this again – no part – in the blackmail or blackmail attempts.”
For France games against Germany and England, both Benzema and Valbuena were left out of the squad. Benzema has 27 goals in 81 appearances for the national team and Valbuena has represented France on 50 occasions.