Real Madrid forward, Karim Benzema has been left
out of 23-man France squad following a sex tape scandal he and another player
have been embroiled in this week. The France international has been accused of conspiring
to blackmail his teammate Mathieu Vaulbena. He was held in custody overnight
and later appeared before a judge in Versailles, near Paris.
He was said to have discussed about the tape
with Valbuena during a national team training session at Clairefontaine in October.
When questioned further, Benzema told investigators he had approached his
colleague about the tape on behalf of a childhood friend.
Sylvain Cormier, Benzema’s lawyers told
journalists his client is innocent and has nothing to hide. “He supports his friend, Mathieu
Valbuena, with all his heart. He took no part, I state this again – no part –
in the blackmail or blackmail attempts. Karim Benzema will show he acted in
good faith, and I hope this will be seen as soon as possible.”
He added.
The 27 year-old who is now under formal
investigation for complicity in attempted blackmail and participation in a
criminal conspiracy has been banned from contacting his France team-mate, or
any other people charged in the case. He could be jailed for a minimum of 5
years if found guilty.
Asides the sex tape scandal, he is said to have
been involved in a different scandal relating to cocaine trafficking. He is
said to have returned to Madrid after the Judge decided not to take custody of
his passport.