Pending the conclusion of an investigation into his alleged involvement in the sex tape plot to blackmail international teammate Valbuena, France has suspended Karim Benzema from playing.
Karim Benzema has been charged with complicity in an attempt to blackmail and involvement in a sex tape plot involving Matthieu Valbuena.
The decision to suspend Benzema was made by FFF President Noel Le Graet and could jeopardize his chances of playing in the Euros which France is hosting.
“Today, Karim Benzema is no longer available for selection,” he said. “It’s a personal decision, I have informed [France coach Didier] Deschamps.
“Benzema will not be available for selection in March, nor for Euro 2016 if the situation has not evolved.
“The Benzema affair for me hurts, but I am sanctioning him because I am the president of the FFF.
“What can change things? That the case is finally closed, that the two players can become friends again after a meeting.
“What this case alleges is not favourable for Karim Benzema.
“It is not enough for the two players to get on with each other, the case must be closed [for Benzema to return].
“Karim has bad acquaintances, that is clear, but he himself is not implicated in anything at all.
“He is often criticised, not well liked because of his manner, but for me he is a footballer of the highest level.
“Karim knows that I am fond of him. If nothing changes before the Euros, he will not play. I hope that this goes away.”
Le Graet, under whom the FFF are to bring a civil action in the case, with parties in French law able to make claims for compensation if they feel they have suffered damage or injury, revealed Deschamps had accepted his decision.
“He [Deschamps] agreed, he will not be making any negative comments about it,” he added.
“I am not angry at Benzema. I am more upset. I have watched his recent matches, his goals… this hurts me.
“I am sure that he has been caught up in something that goes beyond him, but I don’t want to carry out the trial. I am not his lawyer.”
Le Graet added: “Valbuena is available for selection.
“Valbuena has done nothing. He is guilty of nothing. He did the right thing to press charges. He was very close to Karim.
“They [Benzema and Valbuena] are not suddenly going to start playing boules together.”