KARIM BENZEMA missed France’s 2018 World Cup win – but returned to the France squad after a surprise recall from coach Didier Deschamps.
The Real Madrid striker’s exile stems from a court case involving former teammate Mathieu Valbuena and a sex tape.
The trial ended with the 33-year-old being given a year of probation.
So he was brought back into the fold, and why was he frozen in the first place?
Why did Karim Benzema not play for France in the 2018 World Cup?
Didier Deschamps makes Benzema ineligible for more selection an extortion case involving former teammate Mathieu Valbuena and a sex tape.
Benzema received a one-year suspended sentence for being complicit in the attempt to blackmail Valbuena.
He was also fined £63,000, along with three friends.
The sentence is harsher than the one that prosecutors gave the 33-year-old for the 2015 extortion case, which saw Benzema kicked out of the French team for five and a half years.
Benzema was not present at the court in the Paris suburb of Versailles to receive the verdict, which comes hours before Real Madrid host police chief Tiraspol during a Champions League match in Moldova.
He is not accused of being behind the blackmail scheme but of co-conspiring with those suspected of extortion by pressuring Valbuena to pay their debts.
The court ruled that he had “involved himself, through lies and deception, to persuade his comrades to submit to blackmail.”
It added that he had shown “no kindness towards Valbuena”, as he claimed, “totally the opposite”.
The star’s lawyer Sylvain Cormier said he was “quite stunned by the ruling” and they intend to appeal.
Why was Karim Benzema selected by France for Euro 2020?
At the time, the extortion scandal remained unsolved.
However, Didier Deschamps has decided he needs Benzema for the Euros after more than half a decade of absence from the squad.
Deschamps said of his decision: “I’m not going to give you or anyone else any details about that.
“You know the story of our meeting, the most important step: we met and talked. Without that, it wouldn’t have happened.
“To talk about forgiveness is a big word. We are not talking about Didier Deschamps as a man, but Didier Deschamps as a coach.
“And I’m in a position [as coach]. As I’ve said before, I’ll say it again, even if it’s confusing to some: I don’t care about my personal situation. “
https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/6734543/karim-benzema-mathieu-valbuena-blackmail-france/ What happened in Karim Benzema’s sex tape blackmail case and why was he disqualified, then called up back to the France team? – Sun