Karim Benzema’s hopes of resurrecting his France career have suffered a serious blow after the French Football Federation’s (FFF) president said the Real Madrid star is “finished” on the international stage.
Benzema has not featured for his country since October 2015 after he was allegedly involved in a plot to blackmail his France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena in a sex-tape scandal.
A decision is expected in the case in early November, but it has been reported in the French media that it could be thrown out of court due to the involvement of an undercover police officer, who has been accused of incitement to commit the alleged offence.
Didier Deschamps has not included Benzema in any squad since the case came to light, with the player accusing the coach of bowing “to the pressure of a racist part of France” when ignoring him for Euro 2016.
But regardless of the outcome of legal proceedings, FFF president Noel Le Graet does not think Benzema will be returning to action with the national team.
“The Valbuena-Benzema affair had another episode last week, but it is still not over,” Le Graet told Ouest-France.
“It’s been three or four years. It should have been judged much faster and it is rotten for us.
“I have nothing against Karim, he has always behaved well in the [national] team, but I think he is finished with Les Bleus, particularly as he has been out of form for a while.”
Benzema, who has 81 caps for his country, has scored just 20 LaLiga goals for Madrid since the start of the 2016-17 season.
The forward is currently dealing with a hamstring injury that could keep him out of action through the first Clasico of the season, which is set for October 28.