Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

SOUTH AFRICA'S RAMAPHOSA HAILS 'NEW DAWN' IN STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

A controversial Chinese New Year

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

New Beginning? Ramaphosa Replaces Zuma in South Africa

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

On the green slopes: An eco-friendly revolution in French ski resorts?

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

The Élysée palace, France's presidential powerhouse

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Is the aviation industry free-riding on climate change efforts?

Read more

FOCUS

The revival of the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway line

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: Girls in Malawi victims of 'sexual cleansing' ritual

Read more

REVISITED

Video: How the 2014 Winter Olympics transformed Sochi

Read more

Sports

Benzema says he is 'not guilty' of blackmail in sex-tape scandal

© Valery Hache, AFP | France's forward Karim Benzema (R) celebrates after scoring a goal during the friendly football match between France and Armenia on October 8, 2015 in Nice

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2015-12-03

France and Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema insisted on Wednesday he has done nothing wrong after being put under investigation in France in connection with an alleged attempt to blackmail a fellow international with the use of a sex video.

"I'm being accused, I'm being dragged into the mud as if I were a criminal, it's horrible," Benzema told French TV channel TF1 in his first interview since the scandal broke.

"It drives me crazy to hear the word 'blackmail', it's ridiculous. I am not guilty of anything. We never, ever discussed money," added Benzema.

He said he had suggested Olympique Lyonnais forward Mathieu Valbuena contact a friend of his to "deal with" the video.

The scandal has been in the public domain since details of the investigation, as well as the transcript of Benzema's hearing with a judge, were leaked in the French media.

It prompted the French soccer federation to become a plaintiff in the case last week, after Valbuena said in an interview with daily Le Monde he was disappointed in his France team mate.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Tuesday that Benzema should not play for France before being cleared.

"If a minister was under formal investigation, they would not be in the government. In a way, it is the same for the France team," Valls told Europe 1 radio.

Both players were omitted by coach Didier Deschamps when he picked his squad for friendlies against Germany and England last month.

If investigation, which in France's justice system does not necessarily mean he will end up being tried, is not wrapped up quickly, Benzema could be a doubt for the Euro 2016 soccer contest, which France is hosting from June 10.

"I just hope that we will be back in the team to win the Euro," said Benzema.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2015-12-03

  • FRANCE - FOOTBALL

    Valbuena speaks out on Benzema sex-tape scandal

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France striker Benzema placed under formal investigation in sex tape blackmail plot

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French footballer Benzema held over sex tape blackmail plot

    Read more

COMMENT(S)