France to omit Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema from squad against Holland, Russia friendlies

On Tuesday the French Prime Minister had said that there're no grounds for Benzema to come into the France team as he is still under investigation.

Last Updated: Mar 17, 2016, 15:15 PM IST
France to omit Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema from squad against Holland, Russia friendlies

New Delhi: France forward Karim Benzema's troubles continued after the Real Madrid player will not be called for the two upcoming international friendly matches against Netherlands and Russia, the French Football Federation (FFF) has announced.

Benzema was involved in a plot to blackmail his team-mate Mathieu Valbuena with a sex tape, and till the case continues, there will be no respite for the star player.

France will play against Holland and Russia on March 25 and 29, respectively.

FFF president Noel Le Graet confirmed on Wednesday that Benzema will not be called up by the French team for the squad for the games against Holland and Russia later this month.

On Tuesday the French Prime Minister had said that there're no grounds for Benzema to come into the France team as he is still under investigation.

"I'm not the French Football Federation's president or Didier Deschamps, but I think there're no grounds for Benzema to come into the France team. He's still under investigation,” French PM said.

The PM's voice echoed French sports minister Patrick Kanner, who also said earlier that "the conditions had not been met" for Benzema's return and questioned his level of respect for the ethics of the France team.

Reports earlier said Benzema could not play with the team until the accusations of complicity in the blackmail case are cleared.

Last Friday France had lifted the part of the judicial restrictions which prevented Benzema from establishing contact with Valbuena, and opened the way for him to eventually return to the national team.

Earlier last November, a French judge placed Benzema under formal investigation, accusing him of blackmailing fellow French international Valbuena over a sex-tape.

This latest development will allow the striker to make a return to the national side, ahead of the 2016 Euro.

Meanwhile, French national team coach Didier Deschamps does not want to rule out the top scorer of the French team, who netted 27 goals in 81 games with France and 19 goals in 20 Liga games with Spanish giants Real Madrid this season.

(With Agency inputs)