French prime minister to blame for Benzema snub, says lawyer


Karim Benzema's lawyer Eric Dupont-Moretti has blamed France's prime minister Manuel Valls for the Real Madrid striker's omission from France's squad for Euro 2016.

Benzema was suspended from national team duty by the French football federation (FFF) in December pending the outcome of a legal investigation into an alleged plot to blackmail fellow international Mathieu Valbuena. 

Although the investigation is still ongoing, FFF president Noel Le Graet and national team coach Didier Deschamps have now decided Benzema will not be reinstated for the European Championship on home soil and Dupont-Moretti believes Valls' comments on the matter played a big role in the final decision.

Valls stressed back in March that the Madrid attacker did not deserve to represent France so long as the Valbuena case was ongoing, also criticising Benzema for being a bad example.

"The prime minister interfered. I blame him for getting involved. That's not his job," Dupont-Moretti told RMC.

"I have been told that Karim has never caused any problems within the team. Had this decision been a technical one, then we would have had nothing to say about it.

"I hope that Karim's absence will not hurt the team's chances at Euro 2016.

"I spoke to Karim on the phone. Of course this affects him. He is obviously suffering.

"We will not go to court in an attempt to force a return to the national team."