French striker Karim Benzema has accused French coach Didier Deschamps of being racially motivated in his French squad selection for Euro 2016.
Benzema’s accusation is the last thing France need before hosting the second largest international football tournament in the world. The Real Madrid star has also questioned Deschamps’ decision to leave in-form Hatem Ben Arfa out of the final squad.
Karim Benzema was recently involved in a sex-tape/blackmail scandal involving team-mate Mathieu Valbuena, but believes this isn’t why he was dropped from the squad.
“He has bowed to the pressure of a racist part of France,” Benzema told Marca.
“At the judicial level, I have not been judged. I am not guilty, so we have to wait to see what the justice says.
French football legend Eric Cantona sparked Benzema’s claims, stating to The Guardian that both players of North African descent, may have been left out due to personal racial bias.
“Benzema is a great player. Ben Arfa is a great player, so I’m not surprised he used the situation of Benzema not to take him. Especially after Valls said he should not play for France. And Ben Arfa is maybe the best player in France today. But they have some origins. I am allowed to think about that.”
Ben Arfa has had a standout season for French League 1 side Nice, scoring 17 goals in 33 league appearances.
FRANCE EURO 2016 SQUAD
Benoit Costil (Rennes), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille)
Lucas Digne (Roma), Patrice Evra (Juventus), Christophe Jallet (Lyon), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City), Jeremy Mathieu (Barcelona), Bacary Sagna (Manchester City), Adil Rami (Sevilla)
Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace), Lassana Diarra (Marseille), N’Golo Kante (Leicester), Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle)
Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Tigres), Olivier Giroud(Arsenal), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Dimitri Payet (West Ham)
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