Time not right to pick Benzema for France: Coach Deschamps

Paris, Aug 26 (IANS) France football coach Didier Deschamps has said he could call up out-of-favour Karim Benzema again to play with France, but admits the time is still not right for the striker to return to the national fold.

Benzema wasn’t picked for Euro 2016 after getting involved in a sex tape scandal also featuring ex-teammate Mathew Valbuena, reports Efe.

The coach’s statement came after he announced on Thursday the France squad for the friendly with Italy on September 1 and the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Belarus on September 6.

In an interview with Le Parisien published on Friday, the coach said he picked the squad based on what he believes is best for the national team, and added that he could call Benzema again but now is not the right time.

When he learned that he was not called for Euro 2016, Benzema accused Deschamps of yielding to the pressure of the “racist part of France”.

Deschamps, who dismissed allegations of racism as “unacceptable”, said he could recall him in the future.



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