French Prime Minister Manuel Valls is defending himself against accusations from within his party that he's leading a jet-setting lifestyle inappropriate for a Socialist.

Valls used a state-owned jet Saturday to attend the Champions League final between Barcelona — a team he supports — and Juventus in Berlin. He said he was invited by UEFA President Michel Platini because France is hosting the European Championship next year.

At the National Assembly, France's lower house of Parliament, Valls said Tuesday that "sport plays a very important role, due to the big international events that we are going to organize here in France."

Valls has been accused of wasting state money by opposition lawmakers and by some leftist politicians who revived longstanding criticism that he is a right-winger within the Socialist Party.