Karim Benzema says his go-between role in the Mathieu Valbuena sextape blackmail case has been misunderstood as the Real Madrid striker prepares to explain himself on French TV on Wednesday.
The pre-recorded interview comes in the wake of comments from French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Tuesday saying only players with exemplary records should represent France at Euro 2016.
“It`s all a huge misunderstanding. All I was doing was trying to help. There`s nothing to any of it, no blackmail or demands for money,” Benzema told a judge in early November, according to a Le Monde article published on Wednesday.
The scandal is a serious distraction to France before they host Euro 2016 next year — Benzema has been banned from meeting Valbuena and neither was called up for France`s games against Germany and England recently.
In sporting terms Benzema is seen as France`s top striker, but Les Blues have a wealth of other attacking options and a record of leaving trouble-makers out of squads for international tournaments.
The blackmail case began in June, when Valbuena lodged a complaint with police after being telephoned by a man who said he had the sex tape.