Soccer

Benzema authorized to meet with Valbuena in sex-tape case

France's midfielder Mathieu Valbuena (L) talks to France's forward Karim Benzema during a training session at the Santa Cruz Stadium in Ribeirao Prato on June 10, 2014, a few days prior to the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

France's midfielder Mathieu Valbuena (L) talks to France's forward Karim Benzema during a training session at the Santa Cruz Stadium in Ribeirao Prato on June 10, 2014, a few days prior to the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

PARIS --

The investigating judge in the blackmail case shaking the France football team has lifted the order preventing Karim Benzema from getting in touch with Mathieu Valbuena.

Real Madrid striker Benzema is facing preliminary charges of conspiracy to blackmail relating to an extortion scam over a sex tape involving France teammate Valbuena.

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Benzema can meet with Valbuena but remains banned from contacting the other people who have been handed preliminary charges in the case. The prosecutor is appealing.

Preliminary charges under French law mean magistrates have strong reason to believe a crime was committed, and allow time for further investigation.

Benzema has been suspended from the national team until the case has been resolved, meaning that he could miss the European Championship to be held in France from June 10.