Karim Benzema could miss Euro 2016 after he was suspended indefinitely from playing for the France national team by the French Football Federation (FFF) earlier today.
The Real Madrid star will not be allowed to represent his country again until the case surrounding his alleged involvement in a sex-tape blackmail case is over.
The 28-year-old was arrested last month and faces charges of conspiracy to blackmail relating to an alleged extortion plot over the sex tape involving his France international teammate Mathieu Valbuena.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250-word test article: https://gms.to/haveyoursay5
Noël Le Graët, the FFF president, confirmed that Benzema had been banned and called it a ‘heart-breaking’ decision.
"Today, Karim Benzema is no longer available for selection. It's a personal decision (of mine), I have informed [coach Didier] Deschamps," he told a press conference on Thursday, according to the Mirror. "Benzema will not be available for selection in March, nor for EURO 2016 if the situation has not evolved.
"The Benzema affair for me hurts, but I am sanctioning him because I am the president of the FFF.
"I would have liked to have had a face to face with him... but the law does not permit me to do so."
Benzema faces five years in prison if guilty
If found guilty, Benzema - per BBC Sport - could face a minimum of five years in prison.
France have other options upfront
His absence at next summer’s European Championships will be a big blow for France, although Les Blues are well-stocked in the attacking department.
Olivier Giroud, Anthony Martial and Antoine Griezmann could all be in contention to take Benzema’s place upfront.
Are the FFF right to suspend Karim Benzema? Have your say by leaving a comment below!
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms