Benzema's France future confirmed

LaLiga

French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet has commented on Karim Benzema's future with the national team amid concerns of a potential prison sentence for the player.  

The infamous blackmail case that resulted in the Real Madrid star being dropped from the France squad for six years is reportedly set to reach a verdict on 24 November.   

Read: Karim Benzema to go to prison?

Benzema is facing charges of complicity in the blackmailing of his former national teammate Mathieu Valbuena, who allegedly faced threats of exposure in relation to a sex tape featuring him in 2015.

Initially, prosecutors wanted the Los Blancos forward to face five years in prison and a fine of €75 000 (R1.3 million), but they have since lowered this to a 10-month suspended sentence along with a €75 000 (R1.3 million) payment, according to Cayman.loopnews.   

The French Football Federation had remained tight-lipped about the case since the court proceedings began in October, but Le Graet has now confirmed that the 33-year-old will not be omitted from national team selection even if he is found guilty.

Scroll through the gallery below to see 10 footballers who have spent time behind bars

"Sanction Benzema without the national team? No," the 79-year-old said in an interview with Le Parisien, per Marca.   

"The selector will always be responsible for his calls and will not be excluded with respect to a possible judicial sanction. Even if you receive a suspended prison sentence, you have the right to appeal against it.  

"So whether they are called up or not in the coming months will not be linked to the judicial process. 

"I will never intervene to say that we do not accept Benzema in the selection.  

"After that, it is up to [France manager Didier] Deschamps to consider whether, from a sporting point of view, he is fit to be called up with Les Bleus.

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