Karim Benzema will not be selected for France for the European Championships this summer after a decision by the French Football Federation, it has been confirmed.
The Real Madrid man was suspended from international selection last autumn after his involvement in a blackmail attempt against team mate Matieu Valbuena became public.
As part of the case, a judge in France banned Benzema from communicating with the Lyon midfielder, making his participation in the tournament this summer highly unlikely. But last month that order was lifting and the 27-year-old was hopeful he could be selected for international duty once more.
But FFF president Noel Le Graet and team boss Didier Deschamps have now decided that Benzema will not be included in the squad once and for all. France, who host the championships, are in Group A along with Romania, Albania and Switzerland.
Ahead of confirmation of the decision, Benzema took to social media to say that whatever happens, he will always support France. Writing on his Facebook page, the striker said: “Whatever happens… Once a Blue, always a Blue!”
The Los Blancos man has netted 27 goals for Les Bleus in 81 games. It is the second major tournament he will have missed in his career having been dropped from the national side for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.