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Striker Karim Benzema suspended from France team

Karim Benzema suspended from national team by French soccer federation amid blackmail case

Striker Karim Benzema suspended from France team

PARIS (AP) -- Karim Benzema has been indefinitely suspended from the French national team over his involvement in an ongoing blackmail case, throwing a major doubt over his international career.

France soccer federation president Noel Le Great says "I have decided that he is not available for selection."

Le Graet, who had previously supported Benzema, called it a "heart-breaking" decision.

The Real Madrid striker has been charged with conspiracy to blackmail, relating to an extortion scam over a sex tape featuring France teammate Mathieu Valbuena.

Benzema, who denies wrongdoing, is suspected of playing an active role in pressuring Valbuena to deal with the blackmailers in possession of the tape.

The European Championship in France starts in six months.

Updated : 2021-09-25 12:24 GMT+08:00