Karim Benzema has made a mistake over the sex-tape case and cannot play for France at Euro 2016 until his name is cleared, France coach Didier Deschamps said on Friday.
The troubled Real Madrid striker faces criminal charges after allegedly becoming embroiled in a sex-tape blackmail attempt against international teammate Mathieu Valbuena.
"For the moment it`s not possible" for Benzema to play at next year`s championships hosted by France, Deschamps told Le Parisien newspaper. "He (Benzema) hasn`t appreciated the situation he`s in" says Deschamps in reference to Benzema`s angry reaction at being left out of the national squad. "He`s made a mistake, that`s clear."
Deschamps said the decision to leave the player out "was both ethically and morally coherent" Of Valbuena Deschamps said "he is the victim in this affair". "I`m not here to defend him as he`s not accused of anything" added the France boss.
In contrast to the reaction in France, Benzema has received full support from Madrid with both coach Rafael Benitez and club president Florentino Perez insisting they have faith that his name will eventually be cleared. "Benzema is doing okay. He`s going through a difficult time but his conscience is clear, sure in the fact that he has done nothing wrong," Pérez told Madrid radio station Cadena Ser.
"I`ve known him since 2009 and he`s never done anything wrong," said Perez who recruited Benzema from French club Lyon. "In six years here he has only done good things. He`s never been late for training, he`s never been rude to a coach, and has never shouted at a teammate. He hasn`t even picked up many yellow cards," Perez insisted.
Given the pressure Benzema is under it would be understandable if his form dropped but paradoxically he has scored 12 goals in 14 matches for Real so far this season.