The Real Madrid striker will have his day in court in October over his role in allegedly blackmailing his former France team-mate
Karim Benzema has welcomed a trial date being set for his alleged blackmailing of former France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.
The Real Madrid striker has not played for France since 2015, when he was accused of extorting Valbuena over a sex tape in which the then-Marseille player appeared.
On Tuesday, the Versailles prosecutor's office confirmed that Benzema will face trial from October 20-22.
What is Benzema accused of?
In 2015, Benzema allegedly pressured Valbuena to pay off blackmailers who were threatening to release a sex tape in which the latter appeared.
Rather than deal with the blackmailers, however, Valbuena alerted the authorities. Benzema said at the time he was only trying to help his France team-mate.
As part of the fallout, Benzema was axed from the national team and six years later, he has yet to earn another call-up for Les Bleus despite his outstanding form for Madrid.
Benzema has since missed out on multiple major tournaments, including Euro 2016 in his homeland and France’s successful run to the World Cup title in 2018.
During his France career, Benzema scored 27 goals for his country in 81 caps.
How is Benzema performing for Madrid?
The 33-year-old has been in red-hot form for Madrid this season, scoring 23 goals in 32 appearances in all competitions.
After his brace against Celta Vigo on March 20, Benzema has scored in six straight appearances and now has a double in back-to-back La Liga matches.