Arsene Wenger calls for Karim Benzema to return to the French squad for Euro 2020

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Arsene Wenger calls for Karim Benzema to return to the French team for Euro 2020 … and says his exile is due to a ‘non-sports problem’ for his alleged role in teammate Mathieu Valbuena’s 2015 blackmail plot on sex tape

  • Arsene Wenger said Karim Benzema should be part of France’s Euro 2020 team
  • Benzema has been in exile since 2015 for his alleged role in a blackmail plot
  • The alleged incident involved a sex tape with teammate Mathieu Valbuena
  • Wenger said it is a ‘non-sports problem’ and Benzema should rejoin the squad

Arsene Wenger has called for striker Karim Benzema’s sensational return to the French squad for Euro 2020, saying his exile is due to a ‘non-sports problem’.

The Real Madrid forward has not played for France since 2015 due to his alleged involvement in a plot to blackmail fellow teammate Mathieu Valbuena over a compromising video in which he was seen.

In March, it was announced that the case will be brought to trial in October. Benzema claims to be innocent and described the six-year saga as a ‘masquerade’.

Arsene Wenger said Karim Benzema (pictured) should be part of France's Euro 2020 team

Wenger (pictured) said Benzema's exile is due to a 'non-sports problem'

Wenger (pictured) said Benzema's exile is due to a 'non-sports problem'

Arsene Wenger (right) said Karim Benzema (left) should be part of France’s Euro 2020 team

When the story came out, Benzema was heavily criticized, with then-Prime Minister Manuel Valls saying the former Lyon player had ‘no place’ on the national team. The 33-year-old has not played for France since then.

Despite the shocking nature of the allegations, Wenger said he does not believe Benzema should no longer be left out of the national side.

“Not calling Benzema does not depend on the quality of the player,” he told EFE.

‘Benzema deserves 100 percent for me to be called up for the European Championship.

‘He could play for any national team. It is because of an additional and non-sports problem that he is not playing.

Benzema is suspected of pressuring former French teammate Valbuena (left) to pay blackmailers who threatened to reveal an intimate video featuring Valbuena.

Benzema is suspected of pressuring former French teammate Valbuena (left) to pay blackmailers who threatened to reveal an intimate video featuring Valbuena.

Benzema is suspected of pressuring former French teammate Valbuena (left) to pay blackmailers who threatened to reveal an intimate video featuring Valbuena.

Benzema is leaving a courthouse in Versailles in November 2015 when the scandal surfaced

Benzema is leaving a courthouse in Versailles in November 2015 when the scandal surfaced

Benzema is leaving a courthouse in Versailles in November 2015 when the scandal surfaced

“He has been playing for Real Madrid as a starter for over 10 years, and his track record is excellent.”

Benzema is accused of acting as a middleman on behalf of a childhood friend to convince Valbuena to deal directly with the blackmailers. Instead, Valbuena notified the police.

Still considered one of Europe’s best forwards, Benzema has scored 28 goals in 41 appearances for Real Madrid this season.

Since his debut in France in 2007, he has won 81 caps and scored 27 goals.

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