Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

A Pulitzer Prize-winning 'Trajectory': Richard Russo on writing small town America

Read more

FOCUS

Britain’s Labour Party: No home for Jews?

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Outfoxed: The mystery of the ‘Croydon Cat Killer’

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Backstage at the Moulin Rouge

Read more

REVISITED

Video: Hero or dictator? Ugandans divided over Idi Amin Dada’s legacy

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

Sobel Aziz Ngom: Mentoring the next generation of African leaders and entrepreneurs

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Uganda's Bobi Wine returns home

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Brexit plan panned by EU leaders

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Europe's biggest port gears up for Brexit

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

    French footballer Benzema held over sex tape blackmail plot

    Read more

  • FRANCE

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

    Read more

  • FRANCE - FOOTBALL

    Valbuena speaks out on Benzema sex-tape scandal

    Read more

COMMENT(S)