Karim Benzema has been suspended by the French Football Federation (FFF) and will not be considered for national team duty until the legal investigation surrounding an alleged plot to blackmail international team-mate Mathieu Valbuena has been concluded, FFF president Noel Le Graet has announced.
Benzema has been charged with complicity in an attempt to blackmail and participating in a criminal conspiracy as part of an investigation into a sex-tape plot involving Valbuena. The Real Madrid striker denies the charges.
The decision to suspend Benzema was announced by Le Graet on Thursday and could jeapordise his involvement at next year’s European Championship, which will be played in France..
“Today, Karim Benzema is no longer available for selection,” he said. “It’s a personal decision, I have informed [France coach Didier] Deschamps.”
“Benzema will not be available for selection in March, nor for Euro 2016 if the situation has not evolved.
“The Benzema affair for me hurts, but I am sanctioning him because I am the president of the FFF.”