Karim Benzema has hit out at Didier Deschamps, suggesting that Les Bleus coach “has bowed to the pressure of a racist part of France” by omitting him from the Euro 2016 hosts’ squad.
Deschamps left out the Real Madrid striker after the national federation ruled against his return after he was charged with conspiracy to blackmail last year as part of an investigation into an alleged attempt to extort money from his France teammate Mathieu Valbuena.
Earlier this week, former France international Eric Cantona suggested that Benzema, and Nice star Hatem Ben Arfa, had been left out of the squad because of their ethnicity. Benzema agreed with the Manchester United legend, blaming the influence of an “extremist” political party for his controversial omission.
“He has bowed to the pressure of a racist part of France,” Benzema told Marca.
“He has to know that in France the extremist party reached the second round in the last two elections.
“I do not know, therefore, whether it is a decision only for Didier because I’ve gotten along with him, with the president, everyone.”
Benzema argued that on the basis of his performances for Madrid, who won the Champions League and were runners-up in La Liga, the was no reason for him to be left out.
“In sporting terms, I do not understand why,” Benzema said.
“At the judicial level, I have not been judged. I am not guilty, so we have to wait to see what the justice says.
“I like football and to play with my team.”
The French Football Federation confirmed in April that Benzema would not be selected for the Euros, stating at the time: “The ability of players to work towards unity, within and around the squad, exemplarity and the preservation of the squad are also taken into account.”
“As a result, Noel Le Graet and Didier Deschamps have decided that Karim Benzema will not be able to take part in Euro 2016.”