The president of the French Football Federation (FFF), Noel Le Graet has spoken of the decision to exclude Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema from the France squad for the European Championships this summer.
The forward will not be selected by Les Bleus because of ongoing involvement in a blackmail case against team mate Matieu Valbuena.
And Le Graet told reporters that there would be too much focus on the striker should he be picked for the tournament in his home country.
Benzema was dropped in the autumn and suspended from the team when a judge in the case ruled that he should not communicate with Valbuena. That order was lifted last month, opening the door to a potential return to the France set up.
Le Graet stated: “It was a difficult decision to take but the idea was to preserve the interests of the team. During the Euros, we would have found ourselves in the following situation – Benzema succeeds or Benzema does not succeed. This way, it is the squad that succeeds or does not succeed.”
And he added: “With Didier, we spoke several times on the phone. We agreed on the Benzema decision for about two or three days now. Our latest exchanges on Wednesday were simply to confirm. Then, Didier told Karim. He told me that he was very, very, very sad.”