Karim Benzema says France snub due to Didier Deschamps bowing to racist pressure
Karim Benzema has been dropped from France's Euro 2016 squad.
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema accused French coach Didier Deschamps of bowing to racist pressure and not selecting him for the French Euro squad on the basis of his Algerian descent. The French striker was initially dropped from the France squad in April following claims of blackmail by teammate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex-tape but has not been proven guilty and could have been picked for the Euros.
The striker, speaking to Spanish newspaper Marca accused the French coach of being pressured into dropping him by extremist political parties. Benzema said, “He has bowed to the pressure of a racist part of France.” He added, “He has to know that in France the extremist party reached the second round in the last two elections.I do not know, therefore, whether it is a decision only for Didier because I've gotten along with him, with the president, everyone."
The 28-year old could not fathom the reason for dropping him from the squad as he was yet to be proven guilty by the French judicial system. Having scored 28 goals for Real Madrid this season, he also failed to understand the sporting reason for which he had been dropped.
The French striker said, “In sporting terms, I do not understand why," Benzema added. "At the judicial level, I have not been judged. I am not guilty, so we have to wait to see what the justice says
“I like football and to play with my team.”
Benzema’s selection opposed by French PM
Benzema is France’s best striker, with 27 goals in 81 appearances for Les Blues. He was made available for the Euros after the legal restrictions stopping him from playing in the French squad along with Mathieu Valbuena were lifted.
Benzema’s selection was opposed by the French Prime Minister and other politicians, who felt that he should not be part of the squad until the inquiry over the blackmail case was complete.
The Real Madrid forward added that only Mathieu Valbuena knew the real story about the incident but was not being truthful for some reason. He said, “The only person who knows what happened in this affair, who knows the truth, is Valbuena. He played a role, he has not told the truth. I wanted to help him, nothing more, and the whole thing blew up in my face."
These comments by Benzema come in the wake of similar allegations made by retired French striker Eric Cantona. The French star had claimed that the reason for the exclusion of Karim Benzema and Hatem Ben Arfa was their descent saying, “One thing is for sure – Benzema and Ben Arfa are two of the best players in France and will not play the European Championship. And for sure, Benzema and Ben Arfa, their origins are north African. So, the debate is open.”