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Le Graet leaves Benzema future in Deschamps´ hands

French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet insists the decision on whether to recall Karim Benzema to the international fold rests solely with head coach Didier Deschamps.

Real Madrid striker Benzema was barred from selection for Euro 2016 after being charged over his involvement in an alleged attempt to blackmail international team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.

Deschamps did not recall Benzema for the 3-1 friendly win over Italy or the forthcoming World Cup qualifier versus Belarus, claiming the time was not right to reintegrate the 28-year-old into his squad.

Le Graet maintains this call is and will remain Deschamps’ alone, adding the door remained open to players such as Samir Nasri who have retired from international football.

“I’m against lifelong punishments. We will not take any risk, whatever it is,” he told L’Equipe.

“He didn’t play the Euros and [the situation is] quite something. There’s no problem between Didier and me on this matter.

“When you look at the rules, Benzema is selectable, like a lot of players. Nasri, for instance.”

Le Graet added: “When the court of justice have ruled on the case, then it will be down to Didier to bring him back or not.”

Sun 4 Sep, 2016
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