Benzema demands France let him play for another national team he is ‘eligible for’ after Les Bleus snub

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FURIOUS Karim Benzema has demanded France let him play for another national team after being snubbed from the latest squad.

French FA president Noel Le Graet yesterday claimed the in-form Real Madrid striker would never represent his country again.

Furious Karim Benzema wants to play for Algeria after being snubbed by France
AFP OR LICENSORS

Benzema, 31, has been blacklisted from the squad after he was charged with conspiracy to blackmail French team-mate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape.

Hitting back at Le Graet, Benzema tweeted: “Noel I thought you were not interfering in the decisions of the coach!

“Know that it is me and I alone that would put an end to my international career.

“If you think I’m finished, let me play for one of the countries for which I’m eligible and we’ll see.”

Benzema was born to Algerian parents and in 2006 turned down the chance to represent the African nation.

But he has performed a U-turn having missed out on the 2016 Euros and 2018 World Cup with France.

Fifa rules mean it would be extremely difficult for the former Lyon star to play for another country.

They state: “Any player who has already participated in a match (either in full or in part) in an official competition of any category or any type of football for one association may not play in an international match for a representative team of another association.”

Algeria switch

A national team switch is further complicated by the fact Benzema does not have duel citizenship as French citizens can only hold one passport.

However, Fifa regulations do give a glimmer of hope to the snubbed striker.

They add: “If a player who has been fielded by his association in an international match in accordance with art. 5 par. 2 permanently loses the nationality of that country without his consent or against his will due to a decision by a government authority, he may request permission to play for another association whose nationality he already has or has acquired.”

But Benzema would have to change his passport and citizenship, get permission from the French government and appeal to Fifa.

Reserve Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud led the line for France against Moldova on Thursday and won the World Cup with Les Bleus in Russia last year.

But Benzema would surely challenge the Inter Milan target for his place up front.

He is La Liga’s top scorer with nine goals ahead of Lionel Messi, who has eight for Barcelona.

And a brilliant highlights reel against Eibar last weekend outlined his leadership qualities as he “spent half a game teaching fellow Frenchman Ferland Mendy how to play football”.


French FA chief Le Graet said: “Karim Benzema is a very good player, I have never doubted his qualities.

“On the contrary, he shows Real Madrid that he is one of the best players around. But his adventure with the French National team is over.”

Baghdad Bounedjah, who plays football in Qatar, is Algeria’s No9 in a team captained by Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez.

Karim Benzema has not played tournament football for France since the 2014 World Cup
AFP
Karim Benzema was blacklisted from the France squad after being charged with conspiracy to blackmail Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape
Reuters
Karim Benzema would link up with Riyad Mahrez if joined the Algeria national team
AFP or licensors
Karim Benzema is on fire for Real Madrid this season with nine La Liga goals
AP:Associated Press



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