Home European football France Benzema blasts racially motivated France omission

Benzema blasts racially motivated France omission


The striker was excluded from Les Bleus’ Euro 2016 squad

Karim Benzema says he believes that he was not included in Didier Deschamps France squad for Euro 2016 because the decision was racially motivated.

The 28-year-old was suspended from international duty in December, after a legal investigation began of an attempt, by the striker’s friend, to blackmail France teammate Mathieu Valbuena over an alleged sex tape.

However, despite the ban having not been lifted, the Real Madrid striker told Spanish newspaper Marca that Deschamps had “bowed to pressure from a racist French party”.

French Sports Minister Patrick Kanner has sympathised with the striker, who has Algerian heritage, but insists Deschamps decision was not based, in any way, on race.

“I can understand Mr Benzema’s disappointment but under no circumstances are his statements acceptable regarding what he said about Mr Deschamps’ sporting decisions nor his personality,” said Kanner.

“I call for calm, I would like us to concentrate on the competition and would ask everyone to get behind ‘Les Bleus’ which is what the 23 squad members will be expecting of us. So let’s stop this non-debate.”

Meanwhile, former France Prime Minister Francois Fillon blasted Benzema’s comments, again, backing that Deschamps’ decision was truly professional.

“I can’t stand for that,” Fillion admitted. “Forever bringing the nation’s problems down to questions of race, religion and ethnic communities, it’s unhealthy.”

Benzema made 37 appearances for Real this season, scoring 28 goals, but hasn’t netted for France since October, when he scored twice against Armenia.


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