The president of the French Football Federation (FFF) has
effectively ruled out any prospect of a return to the national
team for Karim Benzema ahead of next year's World Cup.
"You would need to be a bit blind or deaf to not understand that
it will be difficult to select him, that seems unquestionable,"
the FFF's Noel Le Graet told RMC radio on Wednesday.
"It should also be said that we have a certain number of talented
players in attack, and it is less of a problem than a few years
The 29-year-old Real Madrid star has won 81 caps for his country
but has not played since October 2015, when a scandal over a sex
tape broke out with Benzema implicated.
Benzema was one of a number of people accused of blackmailing his
then international teammate Mathieu Valbuena -- now with Turkish
club Fenerbahce -- over the tape.
Benzema was placed under investigation for "complicity to and
After being left out of the France squad for Euro 2016, the
striker accused the national coach Didier Deschamps of bowing "to
pressure from a racist part of France".
But Deschamps has said that not selecting Benzema was better for
the "balance" and "harmony" of his squad.
"As long as Didier Deschamps is coach, I have no chance of
getting back into the France team," Benzema said in an interview
with Canal Plus last month.