Euro 2016: President Hollande favours retaining Benzema from French squad

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Paris, March 21 (IANS) French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet said on Monday that President Francois Hollande is against the exclusion of striker Karim Benzema from playing in Euro 2016.

Hollande’s position in favour of Benzema was disclosed at a meeting of the FFF on Sunday on whether to dispense with the Real Madrid player because of a court case he is involved in, reports Efe.

The FFF president added that Hollande is aware of the issue and supports his position at a time when there are voices in the federation saying that Benzema could tarnish the image of the France team in Euro 2016, to be held hosted by the country from June 10 to July 10.

Benzema is under investigation in a case that involves laundering money for drug trafficking. This comes at a time when Benzema is also accused of alleged complicity in a sex-tape blackmail of his national team-mate Matthieu Valbuena.

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The position of the French president is contrary to that of Prime Minister Manuel Valls, as well as Sports Minister Patrick Kanner.

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