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France bans Karim Benzema indefinitely over sex tape blackmail scandal
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has been suspended indefinitely from the French national team over the sex tape blackmail case he is currently involved in with team mate Mathieu Valbuena. The president of the national football federation (FFF), Le Graet said today that Benzema was put under formal investigation by a French judge last month in connection with an alleged attempt to blackmail international team mate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex video.
"I have decided, it's a decision from the president of the French federation and not from the executive committee or the ethics committee, that Karim Benzema cannot play for France until the situation evolves," Noel Le Graet told a news conference. "As long as the judicial system has not decided that everything that has been published on Benzema is excessive, the federation will not change its mind," he added, while urging the judge handling the case to set up a meeting between the two players.
Le Graet was not specific about the duration of the ban but his ruling probably means Benzema cannot be called up by the national team until he is convicted or cleared of the alleged offence, putting his EURO 2016 spot in jeopardy.
Benzema has denied any wrongdoing and claims although he has been banned by a high court from contacting anyone linked to the investigation including Olympique Lyonnais forward Valbuena.
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