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Patrick Kanner casts doubts over French striker

France's sports minister Patrick Kanner has cast doubt over the suitability of having Karim Benzema return to the national team.

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French sports minister Patrick Kanner has cast doubt over the suitability of having Karim Benzema return to the national team.

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Benzema has been charged with complicity in an attempt to blackmail and participating in a criminal conspiracy in relation to a sex-tape scandal involving France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.

The Real Madrid striker, who denies any wrongdoing, had been prevented from speaking with Valbuena, but a court in France lifted that sanction last week, opening up the prospect of him returning to Didier Deschamps' set-up.

But Kanner, though he accepts the decision is down to Deschamps and French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet, suggested the striker should not be recalled.

He told RTL: "I think that, when you sign the code of ethics to be a member of the France team, you have to respect it. I think that, today, those conditions are not met in the matter of Karim Benzema.

"At the same time, I will respect the sporting position and that of the federation [Noel Le Graet]. The coach wants to secure the services of the best French players, that's his position."

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