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Le Graet laments timing of Benzema´s Deschamps accusation

French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet lamented the timing of Karim Benzema’s accusation that coach Didier Deschamps bowed to pressure from a racist political party in the nation.

Benzema was suspended from France duty in December pending the outcome of a legal investigation into an alleged plot to blackmail fellow international Mathieu Valbuena in which he became embroiled.

The Real Madrid striker was left out of the squad for Euro 2016 with the FFF citing the need “to work towards unity”.

In an interview with Marca this week, Benzema suggested Deschamps may have been swayed by political influence in his squad selection.

Le Graet feels the 28-year-old’s comments are “unfortunate” in the timing with France preparing for the European Championship on home soil.

“I like him a lot. I haven’t changed my thinking because there’s an article in a newspaper,” said the FFF president.

“What I took from it was that he likes the French team and wants to return.

“I would have preferred that he might be more pleasant in relation to his friends, who are busy in preparation [for Euro 2016] and want to do well.

“His words are unfortunate.

“The FFF accepts people from all backgrounds and all faiths. For me, this case is over.”

Le Graet did not rule out Benzema returning to the international fold in the future.

“Benzema is not banned for life. We’ll do without him during Euro 2016, afterwards we will see,” he added.

Wed 1 Jun, 2016
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