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Karim Benzema will remain available for France selection even if he’s found guilty over sex tape blackmail – FFF chief Noel Le Graet says

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Karim Benzema

Karim Benzema will still be available for France selection, even if he is found guilty of blackmail charges against his former teammate Mathieu Valbuena.

France Football Federation president Noel Le Graet made this known as he insisted that Benzema’s selection will be decided on sporting merit alone.

The Real Madrid striker has been in sensational form since returning to the French fold following a five-year hiatus, taking his place in the Euro 2020 squad and also being a key member of their recent Nations League success.

Benzema is accused of attempting to persuade Valbuena to agree to the sum of money being extorted from him by blackmailers, thus making the striker complicit in the crime.

However, even if he is found guilty, with prosecutors seeking a 10-month suspended sentence and a €75,000 fine, this will not affect his availability for France.

‘The coach will always remain responsible for his selection, and Benzema will not be excluded in relation to a possible judicial sanction,’ Le Graet told Le Parisien in an interview.

‘Even if he receives a penalty, a suspended prison sentence, he still has the possibility of appealing a conviction.

‘So his selection, or not, in the coming months will not be linked to this judgment.

‘I will never intervene to say that we do not take him. After that, it is up to Didier [Deschamps] to consider whether, on a sporting level, he is fit to play with les Bleus.’

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