This morning the sentence of the court of Versailles which recognized the striker of Real Madrid and the French national team as complicit in the attempt to blackmail former teammate Valbuena
The Versailles judge even went beyond the prosecutor’s request. Two more months, for a one-year suspended sentence, and a 75 thousand euro fine, turning the charge into evidence: Karim Benzema was complicit in the attempt to blackmail his national team colleague Mathieu Valbuena . A story that exploded in the autumn of 2015 and which cost both of them exclusion from France. But last spring, the Real Madrid star returned to the Bleus, becoming an indispensable element in the eyes of coach Didier Deschamps who, with the support of the Federation, still wants to take him to the World Cup in Qatar. Also because Benzema prepares the appeal. But there is a risk that, five months before the presidential elections, the sentence will fuel new controversies, raising another debate on whether to call the striker in contention for the Golden Ball.
Six years ago, in fact, the investigation sparked a political uproar, with the stance of parliamentarians and ministers who brought up moral principles. The same people recalled in the courtroom by the Public Prosecutor who recalled that Benzema, as an international star, also had a duty of exemplariness. Certainly not respected when, from the retirement of the national team, he advised Valbuena to contact some of his acquaintances to prevent a red light video from ending up on the network. Knowledge that, however, wanted money in exchange from the midfielder who had entrusted his mobile phone with compromising images to the wrong people.
The investigation even then brought to light Benzema’s disrespectful attitude towards his colleague, and which prompted coach Deschamps to keep them out of the national team. Although the decision not to take Benzema to the 2016 home European Championship was made after the striker publicly accused DD of having “succumbed to the racist side of French society”. It was the peak of a period of controversy that resulted in heated confrontations on the integration problems of the new generations of foreign origins. Like Benzema, in fact, who has always refused to sing the anthem, and kept dangerous friendships, born in problematic neighborhoods on the outskirts of Lyon where he grew up, perhaps cultivating gangsta-rapper attitudes on social media, not always exemplary.
In short, today’s condemnation could inflame the political scene again in a country on the way to an electoral campaign where Eric Zemmour, aspiring ultra-right candidate who has put the issues of security, social identity and immigration. Also bypassing Marine Le Pen’s radical right in the polls. And so the Benzema case can increase the pressure on the president of the Federation, Noel Le Graet, who however today reiterated that the court’s decision does not change anything: Benzema remains open to call. Consolidating Deschamps’ media strategy: “I only make sporting choices”. A first appeal can however extend the time before a final sentence, and allow Benzema to remain in the national team. Where the agreement with Mbappé and Griezmann, after the flop at the European Championship, instead promises wonders for the World Championship in Qatar. However without Valbuena, never returned to Bleu.
November 24, 2021 (change November 24, 2021 | 12:59)
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