Soccer

Karim Benzema suspended from national team by French soccer federation amid blackmail case

  • Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, celebrates scoring his side's 8th goal during a Champions League group A soccer match between Real Madrid and Malmo at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

    Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, celebrates scoring his side's 8th goal during a Champions League group A soccer match between Real Madrid and Malmo at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)  (The Associated Press)

  • Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, reacts after scoring his side's second goal during a Champions League group A soccer match between Real Madrid and Malmo at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

    Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, reacts after scoring his side's second goal during a Champions League group A soccer match between Real Madrid and Malmo at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this  Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014 file photo, France's Karim Benzema reacts during his international friendly soccer match against Serbia, in Belgrade, Serbia. Karim Benzema has been indefinitely suspended from the French national team on Thursday, Dec. 10, over his involvement in an ongoing blackmail case, throwing a major doubt over his international career. The Real Madrid striker has been charged with conspiracy to blackmail, relating to an extortion scam over a sex tape featuring France teammate Mathieu Valbuena.  (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic, file)

    FILE - In this Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014 file photo, France's Karim Benzema reacts during his international friendly soccer match against Serbia, in Belgrade, Serbia. Karim Benzema has been indefinitely suspended from the French national team on Thursday, Dec. 10, over his involvement in an ongoing blackmail case, throwing a major doubt over his international career. The Real Madrid striker has been charged with conspiracy to blackmail, relating to an extortion scam over a sex tape featuring France teammate Mathieu Valbuena. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic, file)  (The Associated Press)

Karim Benzema has been indefinitely suspended from the French national team over his involvement in an ongoing blackmail case, throwing a major doubt over his international career.

France soccer federation president Noel Le Great says "I have decided that he is not available for selection."

Le Graet, who had previously supported Benzema, called it a "heart-breaking" decision.

The Real Madrid striker has been charged with conspiracy to blackmail, relating to an extortion scam over a sex tape featuring France teammate Mathieu Valbuena.

Benzema, who denies wrongdoing, is suspected of playing an active role in pressuring Valbuena to deal with the blackmailers in possession of the tape.

The European Championship in France starts in six months.