France striker Karim Benzema has been omitted from the French national team due to the ongoing investigation into his involvement in a sex tape scandal.
The striker, who denies any wrongdoing, broke the news through his official Twitter account confirming that the French Football Federation will not select him for Euro 2016 this summer. Benzema posted: “Unfortunately for me and for all those who have supported me. I am not selected for our Euro in France.”
The Real Madrid ace also posted a video onto his Facebook page pleading for a recall to the national team having not featured for France since being questioned by Police in November.
His last appearance for ‘Les Blues’ came in October against Armenia before being omitted from their friendlies against Holland and Russia in March as allegations surfaced.
The case against Benzema goes back to an alleged blackmail against his French team-mate Mathieu Valbuena to extort money off him over a reported sex tape involving his fellow countryman and his partner.
Is was thought Benzema might make a return to the side after legal restrictions were lifted against him last month which prevented him making contact with 28 year-old, Valbuena.
A statement on the French Football Federation website read: “Didier Deschamps and President Noel Le Graet met to discuss the situation of Mr Benzema. The president of the federation and the coach would agree that athletic performance is an important but not exclusive criterion for selecting the France national team.”
The statement continued: “The ability of players to work towards unity, in and around the group, are all taken into account. As a result, Noel Le Graet and Didier Deschamps decided that Karim Benzema will not participate in Euro 2016.”
Benzema is set to miss out on the European Championships in his home country and will be unavailable for their Group A matches against Romania, Albania and Switzerland.
The Madrid frontman has been in good form this season and despite the allegations he will be missed in the summer. He has been a regular in the French national side since his debut in 2007 and has scored 27 goals in 81 appearances.
Whether Karim Benzema will play for the French national team in the future remains to be seen. The case continues.
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