#AEDH – BENZEMA TO PLAY FOR FRANCE WITH SEX-TAPE ‘RIVAL’ VALBUENA
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema will technically be eligible to play for France at
Euro 2016 after certain legal restrictions were lifted in the sex tape blackmail
investigation that has rocked French football.
Benzema is being probed for his part in an alleged plot to blackmail national team-
mate Mathieu Valbuena. He was initially not allowed to contact Valbuena, meaning
they could not be in the same squad, but an appeals court has partially lifted some
of these terms.
Currently injured, Benzema was suspended by France in December, a ban that had
been due to remain until the end of court proceedings. An investigating judge last
month lifted the order keeping Benzema and Lyon playmaker Valbuena apart, but
the prosecutor appealed. That was dismissed on Friday. If found guilty, Benzema
could face a minimum of five years in prison but his lawyer, Sylvain Cormier,
described the latest ruling as “a first step” in proving the striker’s innocence.
The 27-year-old has scored 27 goals in 81 appearances for his country but there is no
guarantee the investigation will be completed before the country hosts Euro 2016 in