Paris: French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Tuesday said there is “no place” for striker Karim Benzema in the national football team.
Spanish club Real Madrid’s Benzema is under investigation over a sex-tape blackmail plot which involves teammate Mathieu Valbuena but the former says he has done nothing wrong.
“A great athlete should be exemplary. If he is not, he has no place in the France team,” Valls was quoted as saying by the BBC.
“There are so many kids, so many youngsters in our suburbs that relate to great athletes. They wear the blue jersey, the colours of France, which are so important in these moments.”
The 27-year-old who has scored 27 times for his national side is being considered a key player for Euro 2016 in June but neither him or Valbuena were in the squad for the recent friendly matches between Germany and England.
Last month, Benzema attracted more controversy as he spit on the ground after the French anthem was played at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid in a tribute to victims of the Paris attacks.