Even if he is found guilty of blackmailing his former teammate Mathieu Valbuena, Karim Benzema will be available for selection by France. Noel Le Graet, head of the French Football Federation, has stated that his selection will be based solely on sports quality.
The Real Madrid striker has been in phenomenal form in LaLiga, and he has recently returned to France after a five-year absence, earning a spot in the Euro 2020 team and playing a major role in their recent Nations League triumph. The 33-year-old, on the other hand, is currently facing a fine and a suspended sentence for his role in the blackmailing of his former France teammate Valbuena.
Benzema is accused of attempting to persuade Valbuena to agree to a sum of money demanded by blackmailers, therefore making the striker a co-conspirator in the crime. Even if he is found guilty, prosecutors are requesting a 10-month suspended sentence and a fine of €75,000, which will not impair his eligibility to go to France.
In an Interview, Le Graet told Le Parisien: “The coach will always remain responsible for his selection, and Benzema will not be excluded concerning a possible judicial sanction.”
‘Even if he receives a penalty, a suspended prison sentence, he still has the possibility of appealing a conviction.”
“So his selection, or not, in the coming months will not be linked to this judgment.”
‘I will never intervene to say that we do not take him. After that, it is up to Didier [Deschamps] to consider whether, on a sporting level, he is fit to play with Les Bleus.”