Mathieu Valbuena

AFP

French Federation chief blocks path to Benzema return

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Paris (AFP) – 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.

French Federation chief blocks path to Benzema return

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Paris (AFP) – 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.

Cisse 100% confident of Valbuena sex tape exoneration

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Paris (AFP) – France international Djibril Cisse insisted he’s done nothing wrong over the Mathieu Valbuena sex tape scandal in an interview published on Saturday.

The former Liverpool and Marseille striker told l’Equipe he was “one million percent” confident he will be exonerated of any wrongdoing.

Cisse 100% confident of Valbuena sex tape exoneration

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Paris (AFP) – France international Djibril Cisse insisted he’s done nothing wrong over the Mathieu Valbuena sex tape scandal in an interview published on Saturday.

The former Liverpool and Marseille striker told l’Equipe he was “one million percent” confident he will be exonerated of any wrongdoing.

Benzema wins court battle over sex-tape

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Paris (AFP) – France’s highest court on Tuesday struck down a ruling putting Real Madrid star Karim Benzema on trial over the sex-tape blackmail of fellow former international Mathieu Valbuena.

The Court of Cassation annulled a Versailles Court of Appeal ruling in December to send Benzema to trial for allegedly attempting to blackmail Valbuena over the sex tape.

Benzema wins court battle over sex-tape

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Paris (AFP) – France’s highest court on Tuesday struck down a ruling putting Real Madrid star Karim Benzema on trial over the sex-tape blackmail of fellow former international Mathieu Valbuena.

The Court of Cassation annulled a Versailles Court of Appeal ruling in December to send Benzema to trial for allegedly attempting to blackmail Valbuena over the sex tape.

Sex-tape victim Valbuena to join Fenerbahce

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Istanbul (AFP) – Mathieu Valbuena, the France international at the centre of an interminable sex-tape scandal, has agreed to join Istanbul giants Fenerbahce from Lyon, the Turkish club said on Monday.

Fenerbahce said in a statement that an agreement in principle had been reached for the 32-year-old attacking midfielder’s transfer and the signing would follow later.

France coach Deschamps lashes out at ‘pitiful’ Karim Benzema

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Paris (AFP) – Didier Deschamps took a swipe at Karim Benzema on Thursday as the French coach again left the Real Madrid forward out of his 26-man squad for three key matches next month.

The 29-year-old Benzema has not figured for France since October 2015 over allegations of his involvement in a sex-tape scandal featuring midfielder Mathieu Valbuena.

France coach Deschamps lashes out at ‘pitiful’ Karim Benzema

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Paris (AFP) – Didier Deschamps took a swipe at Karim Benzema on Thursday as the French coach again left the Real Madrid forward out of his 26-man squad for three key matches next month.

The 29-year-old Benzema has not figured for France since October 2015 over allegations of his involvement in a sex-tape scandal featuring midfielder Mathieu Valbuena.

Ruthless Traore sparks Ajax rout of Lyon

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Amsterdam (AFP) – On-loan Chelsea forward Bertrand Traore scored twice and grabbed an assist as Ajax trounced Lyon 4-1 in the first leg of Wednesday’s Europa League semi-final.

The Burkina Faso international nodded Ajax ahead after 25 minutes at the Amsterdam Arena before Danish teenager Kasper Dolberg rifled in a second from Traore’s towering header.

Ruthless Traore sparks Ajax rout of Lyon

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Amsterdam (AFP) – On-loan Chelsea forward Bertrand Traore scored twice and grabbed an assist as Ajax trounced Lyon 4-1 in the first leg of Wednesday’s Europa League semi-final.

The Burkina Faso international nodded Ajax ahead after 25 minutes at the Amsterdam Arena before Danish teenager Kasper Dolberg rifled in a second from Traore’s towering header.

Cisse indicted in sex tape blackmail probe

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Paris (AFP) – Former French international striker Djibril Cisse revealed Thursday that he had been placed under formal investigation as part of the ongoing probe into a sex tape blackmail case, his lawyer said.

However, his legal team shrugged off the latest development, describing it as “a non-event”.

Cisse indicted in sex tape blackmail probe

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Paris (AFP) – Former French international striker Djibril Cisse revealed Thursday that he had been placed under formal investigation as part of the ongoing probe into a sex tape blackmail case, his lawyer said.

However, his legal team shrugged off the latest development, describing it as “a non-event”.

Benzema refuses to give up on France recall

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Paris (AFP) – Frozen-out star forward Karim Benzema wants showdown talks with France coach Didier Deschamps about his international future and said Thursday he hasn’t given up hope of a recall.

The 29-year-old Real Madrid striker has not been picked by Deschamps since October 2015 after being embroiled in a sex-tape blackmail scandal involving former international team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.

Benzema refuses to give up on France recall

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Paris (AFP) – Frozen-out star forward Karim Benzema wants showdown talks with France coach Didier Deschamps about his international future and said Thursday he hasn’t given up hope of a recall.

The 29-year-old Real Madrid striker has not been picked by Deschamps since October 2015 after being embroiled in a sex-tape blackmail scandal involving former international team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.

Nice, Lyon rebound from derby setbacks

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Paris (AFP) – Wylan Cyprien’s scorching strike kept Nice within three points of Ligue 1 leaders Monaco following Wednesday’s 1-0 victory over Saint-Etienne.

Cyprien rifled in the only goal after just seven minutes at the Allianz Riviera as Nice bounced back from Saturday’s heavy defeat at Cote d’Azur and title rivals Monaco.

Nice, Lyon rebound from derby setbacks

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Paris (AFP) – Wylan Cyprien’s scorching strike kept Nice within three points of Ligue 1 leaders Monaco following Wednesday’s 1-0 victory over Saint-Etienne.

Cyprien rifled in the only goal after just seven minutes at the Allianz Riviera as Nice bounced back from Saturday’s heavy defeat at Cote d’Azur and title rivals Monaco.

Lyon blast ‘despicable’ Valbuena death claim

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Paris (AFP) Lyon on Monday hit out at "despicable" social media reports that French international Mathieu Valbuena had died.

"Mathieu Valbuena is happily alive and well contrary to what those despicable individuals are spreading on Twitter," the club said in their own Twitter retort.

The Ligue 1 club acted after after a number of social media posts claimed the 32-year-old died on Sunday, alongside a photograph of the player.

Lyon blast ‘despicable’ Valbuena death claim

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Paris (AFP) Lyon on Monday hit out at "despicable" social media reports that French international Mathieu Valbuena had died.

"Mathieu Valbuena is happily alive and well contrary to what those despicable individuals are spreading on Twitter," the club said in their own Twitter retort.

The Ligue 1 club acted after after a number of social media posts claimed the 32-year-old died on Sunday, alongside a photograph of the player.

Valbuena sex-tape ‘mastermind’ released from detention

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Versailles (France) (AFP) One of the suspected blackmailers in the Mathieu Valbuena sex-tape scandal has been released from prison, his lawyer said on Friday.

Mustapha Zouaoui was released on Thursday according to his lawyer Serge Money as French law prevents suspects being held in pre-trial detention for longer than four months.

Valbuena sex-tape ‘mastermind’ released from detention

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Versailles (France) (AFP) One of the suspected blackmailers in the Mathieu Valbuena sex-tape scandal has been released from prison, his lawyer said on Friday.

Mustapha Zouaoui was released on Thursday according to his lawyer Serge Money as French law prevents suspects being held in pre-trial detention for longer than four months.

French prosecutors press sex-tape case against Cisse

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Paris (AFP) French prosecutors on Friday called for former Liverpool and Marseille striker Djibril Cisse to be charged with blackmail over a sex tape that cost Karim Benzema his place in France's Euro 2016 squad, legal sources told AFP.

Cisse and Benzema were both arrested last year over their alleged attempt to blackmail Lyon midfielder Mathieu Valbuena with a tape of Valbuena and his girlfriend.

French prosecutors press sex-tape case against Cisse

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Paris (AFP) French prosecutors on Friday called for former Liverpool and Marseille striker Djibril Cisse to be charged with blackmail over a sex tape that cost Karim Benzema his place in France's Euro 2016 squad, legal sources told AFP.

Cisse and Benzema were both arrested last year over their alleged attempt to blackmail Lyon midfielder Mathieu Valbuena with a tape of Valbuena and his girlfriend.

Weakened Lyon slump to defeat at Lorient

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Paris (AFP) Lyon missed the chance to move level on points with stumbling champions Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 on Saturday after losing 1-0 at struggling Lorient.

Jimmy Cabot scored the only goal of the game early in the second half in Brittany as Lyon lost for the third time in the league already this season.

Weakened Lyon slump to defeat at Lorient

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Paris (AFP) Lyon missed the chance to move level on points with stumbling champions Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 on Saturday after losing 1-0 at struggling Lorient.

Jimmy Cabot scored the only goal of the game early in the second half in Brittany as Lyon lost for the third time in the league already this season.

Payet beats out Martial to France starting spot in Euro

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Paris (AFP) West Ham's mercurial playmaker Dimitri Payet edged out Manchester United's Anthony Martial to start France's Euro 2016 opener against Romania in Paris on Friday.

Payet crowned a series of impressive displays since earning a recall to the French team in March with a stunning last minute free-kick to beat Cameroon 3-2 in Les Bleus' penultimate warm-up game in Nantes 10 days ago.

Payet beats out Martial to France starting spot in Euro

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Paris (AFP) West Ham's mercurial playmaker Dimitri Payet edged out Manchester United's Anthony Martial to start France's Euro 2016 opener against Romania in Paris on Friday.

Payet crowned a series of impressive displays since earning a recall to the French team in March with a stunning last minute free-kick to beat Cameroon 3-2 in Les Bleus' penultimate warm-up game in Nantes 10 days ago.

‘Racist’ daubed on France coach Deschamps’ house

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Rennes (France) (AFP) The word "racist" was daubed on the wall of a house owned by Didier Deschamps days after the France manager was accused by Karim Benzema of bowing to "pressure from a racist part of France".

The Real Madrid striker made the accusation after being left out of Deschamps' squad for the European championships starting in France next Friday.

‘Racist’ daubed on France coach Deschamps’ house

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Rennes (France) (AFP) The word "racist" was daubed on the wall of a house owned by Didier Deschamps days after the France manager was accused by Karim Benzema of bowing to "pressure from a racist part of France".

The Real Madrid striker made the accusation after being left out of Deschamps' squad for the European championships starting in France next Friday.

‘Racist’ daubed on France boss Deschamps’ house

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Rennes (France) (AFP) The word 'racist' was daubed on the wall of a house owned by Didier Deschamps days after the France manager was accused by Karim Benzema of bowing to "pressure from a racist part of France".

The Real Madrid striker made the accusation after being left out of Deschamps' squad for the European championships starting in France next Friday.

‘Racist’ daubed on France boss Deschamps’ house

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Rennes (France) (AFP) The word 'racist' was daubed on the wall of a house owned by Didier Deschamps days after the France manager was accused by Karim Benzema of bowing to "pressure from a racist part of France".

The Real Madrid striker made the accusation after being left out of Deschamps' squad for the European championships starting in France next Friday.

Benzema accuses Deschamps of bowing to racists

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Paris (AFP) Karim Benzema unleashed a new storm of controversy on Wednesday by saying French coach Didier Deschamps had "bowed to pressure from a racist part of France" by keeping him out of the Euro 2016 squad.

However, politicians and France's football establishment leaped to Deschamps defence over the interview that the Real Madrid star gave to a Spanish newspaper.

EURO 2016

France savour Euros opener after blighted build-up

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Paris (AFP) A tortuous build-up dominated by off-field controversy and untimely injuries comes to an end for hosts France when they finally get Euro 2016 underway against Romania in Group A at the Stade de France on Friday.

Les Bleus' preparations on the field have been distracted by claims from Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema that his exclusion from the squad was racially motivated.

France savour Euros opener after blighted build-up

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Paris (AFP) A tortuous build-up dominated by off-field controversy and untimely injuries comes to an end for hosts France when they finally get Euro 2016 underway against Romania in Group A at the Stade de France on Friday.

Les Bleus' preparations on the field have been distracted by claims from Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema that his exclusion from the squad was racially motivated.

‘Racist’ daubed on Deschamps house

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Rennes (France) (AFP) The word "racist" was daubed on the wall of a house owned by Didier Deschamps days after the France manager was accused by Karim Benzema of bowing to "pressure from a racist part of France".

The Real Madrid striker made the accusation after being left out of Deschamps' squad for the European championships starting in France next Friday.

‘Racist’ daubed on Deschamps house

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Rennes (France) (AFP) The word "racist" was daubed on the wall of a house owned by Didier Deschamps days after the France manager was accused by Karim Benzema of bowing to "pressure from a racist part of France".

The Real Madrid striker made the accusation after being left out of Deschamps' squad for the European championships starting in France next Friday.

Benzema faces backlash over racism claims

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Paris (AFP) Karim Benzema faced a growing backlash on Thursday, a day after his sensational claims that coach Didier Deschamps had "bowed to pressure from a racist part of France" by keeping him out of the Euro 2016 squad.

Political and sporting figures lined up to condemn the Real Madrid striker, with Prime Minister Manuel Valls saying he was "shocked" by Benzema's outburst in Spanish media.

Benzema faces backlash over racism claims

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Paris (AFP) Karim Benzema faced a growing backlash on Thursday, a day after his sensational claims that coach Didier Deschamps had "bowed to pressure from a racist part of France" by keeping him out of the Euro 2016 squad.

Political and sporting figures lined up to condemn the Real Madrid striker, with Prime Minister Manuel Valls saying he was "shocked" by Benzema's outburst in Spanish media.

The Rest

Midday Ticker: Moreno to Roma, Salcedo loaned to Frankfurt and more

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Photo by Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today Sports

Two Mexican international center backs are on the move.

First off, it's Hector Moreno transferring from PSV Eindhoven to AS Roma. He is Roma's first new signing under recently hired sporting director Monchi. (REPORT)

The other Mexican defender on the move is Carlos Salcedo.

Lyon Forced To Take Unusual Step Of Confirming That Mathieu Valbuena Is Still Alive

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Lyon have been forced to take the unusual step of having to confirm that Mathieu Valbuena is still among the living.

After not making the squad for Saturday's win over Toulouse, a macabre rumour rippled around Twitter that the pint-sized midfielder had shuffled off this mortal coil at the age of 32.