Sports, Football

Benzema faces verdict in French ‘sex tape’ trial

Published : 24 Nov 2021 09:47 PM

A French court Wednesday issues its verdict on whether Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema conspired to blackmail his former France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena with a sex tape, in a case that tarnished both their careers.

The allegations against Benzema, which date to 2015, led to him being cast out of the French squad for five years before being brought back into the fold in May in time to play in Euro 2020.

But even a guilty verdict would not likely lead to a further banishment, with French football federation president Noel Le Graet saying Benzema could keep his place in the national team even if convicted.

Prosecutors are calling for him to be given a 10-month suspended sentence. 

A conviction would nonetheless cast a pall over a stunning comeback to the national team by the 33-year-old.

Benzema has scored nine times since being called back by France manager Didier Deschamps for the European Championship, making him the fifth-highest scorer in the history of Les Bleus.

At club level, Benzema is also having a sensational season, putting him in the running for the Ballon d'Or, to be announced on November 29th, which selects the world's best player.