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Benzema free to play for France despite sex-tape probe

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Photo: AFP
11:08 CET+01:00
Karim Benzema could yet line up in the French team alongside Mathieu Valbuena, after legal restrictions linked to his involvement in a sex tape blackmail plot were lifted.

France and Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema  is free to play in Euro 2016 after legal restrictions placed on him over his alleged involvement in a sex tape blackmail case were lifted Friday, his lawyers said.

Under the restrictions, Benzema was not allowed to come into contact with his international teammate Mathieu Valbuena, who was the target of the blackmail attempt.

But an appeals court upheld an investigating magistrate's decision to lift the restrictions, allowing Benzema to be involved in the same national squad as Valbuena, if the two are selected for the tournament that France is hosting.

"Good sense has won the day," one of Benzema's lawyers, Sylvain Cormier, told reporters.

"Now the decision (of Benzema's potential involvement in Euro 2016) is no longer ours," he added.

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France coach Didier Deschamps suspended 28-year-old Benzema from the national team after he was placed under formal investigation over the affair in November.

Despite Friday's ruling, Benzema remains under investigation.

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