Paris: French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet has defended Real Madrid French forward Karim Benzema, after he was charged with conspiracy to blackmail his international teammate Mathieu Valbuena about a sex tape.
In an interview on Friday with French newspaper L'Equipe, Le Graet said "I find that we're condemning Benzema too quickly", stressing that the player has "full support" from the FFF, while he highlighted the player's great efforts with the French national team, Efe reported.
Le Graet also insisted that the player has the right to defend himself, adding "a football player has the same rights as a politician or a big businessman".
Regarding the influence of Benzema's case on image of the French team, Le Graet said "no one can confirm that there is wrongdoing on his part".
On Thursday the Versailles prosecution charged Benzema with conspiracy to blackmail his teammate about the sex tape and it was decided that he will remain at the disposal of the court.
According to the prosecution if Benzema is found guilty he could face a maximum prison sentence of five years.