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Benzema guilty of attempted bl...

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Benzema guilty of attempted blackmail, handed one year suspended term


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France and Real Madrid footballer Karim Benzema has been given a one year suspended jail term for attempted blackmail.

A court in Versailles has found the 33 year old complicit in the attempted blackmail of former team mate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape.

Benzema, who was not in court, has also been fined €75,000.

Prosecutors had claimed that Benzema encouraged Valbuena to pay a suspected group of blackmailers to keep the tape out of the public domain back in 2015.

He had denied wrongdoing.

The scandal cost Benzema his place in the France national team for six years. He returned earlier this year, playing under coach Didier Deschamps at the European Championship.

The France Football Federation Noel Le Graet said before the verdict that any guilty sentence would not necessarily affect Benzema's future career with France.

"The coach will continue to be responsible for the call-ups and Karim Benzema will not be excluded because of a possible judicial punishment," said Le Graet.

"His selection or exclusion in the coming months with France will not be linked to this verdict.

"I will never intervene. It is up to coach Didier [Deschamps] to consider whether, from a sporting standpoint, Benzema is in the position to play with Les Bleus."

Benzema is expected to play for Real Madrid against FC Sheriff Tiraspol on Wednesday night.


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