The head of the French Football Federation (FFF), Noel Le Graet, says Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has shown stupid behaviour ‘like a donkey’ but admits he deserves a second chance.
The 27-year-old has been suspended from the national side while he is subject of an ongoing blackmail case against an international team mate. Towards the end of last year, Benzema was named in a case that saw attempts to extort money from France and Lyon playmaker Matieu Valbuena to get rid of a sex tape he was involved in.
Benzema has been ordered not to communicate with Valbuena while the case is carried out and he will not be selected for national duty – a blow for him considering the European Championships next summer are being held in his native France.
Speaking to Paris Breizh Media, Le Graet stated: “Maybe I have protected Karim excessively in this matter, but I really like him and we all make mistakes. He got carried away by stupidity in this case. He has been stupid like a donkey. But I don’t believe in lecturing people.”
“There are good and bad people in all environments, among teachers, among businessmen, anywhere. Benzema comes from a difficult environment and he got carried away. Karim is a guy I really like. People talk to me about the way he expresses himself, but we take everyone as they are. Football is like that.”