Karim Benzema Banned Over Team-mate Blackmail

Karim Benzema Banned Over Team-mate Blackmail

French international, Karim Benzema, has been banned from the national team following a blackmail inquiry.

Benzema was banned for allegedly being part in a blackmail and sex tape case concerning team-mate, Mathieu Valbuena.

A French judge placed Benzema under formal investigation over an alleged bid to blackmail his friend over a sex video.

Benzema could thus miss Euro 2016, which starts in France in June.

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The player has denied the allegation in a TV interview to French broadcaster TF1 two weeks ago, a situation in which if found guilty, could make him face a minimum of five years in prison.

Noel le Graet, the France Football Federation president said it was a heartless decision to suspend him in his support for Benzema. He said it was a “heart-breaking” decision.

France won’t name the player for her two friendly matches before they host the European Championship starting June 10 - against the Netherlands and Russia in late March.

The player also stands the chance of missing out on Euro 2016. Unless the case evolves in his favor, he won't be part of the team, with coach, Didier Deschamps expected to name his squad in May.

Benzema's involvement in the plot has not yet been fully determined, according to report but investigators believe he was approached by a childhood friend to act as an intermediary.

His club, Real Madrid, said in a statement that it ''laments and respects'' the decision by the French federation, and reiterated that it continues to ''support'' and ''trust'' the player.

Karim Benzema remains France’s best scorer with 27 goals in 81 international matches followed by Arsenal's Olivier Giroud only with 13 in 45 matches.

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