Benzema’s continued absence from France more than five years after the emergence of the Valbuena affair remains a hot topic that becomes more prominent during international breaks.
The 33-year-old is currently having one of the best moments of his club career and his great performances for Real Madrid has sparked more and more calls in his home country for the Lyon striker to be reinstated in the national team.
Amid growing support from Benzema, Blues coach Didier Deschamps continues to come under increasing pressure to explain his reasons for not recalling the Madrid striker. Apart from the criticism he received for not summoning Benzema, he was also criticized for the recent manner in which he answered a question on such a sensitive subject.
Benzema-France situation no laughing matter – Micoud
After being questioned again on the matter by a local journalist at a press conference in Kazakhstan ahead of France’s 2-0 win over Kazakhstan on Sunday, Deschamps replied with a laugh: ” Even here? I’m sure a French journalist told you to ask for this.
The laughing response from France’s head coach was not well received by former France international and Benzema reinstatement promoter Johan Micoud.
“It just makes him laugh (Deschamps),” Micoud said in reference to the press conference incident in Kazakhstan.
“I find it terrible not to see Benzema again with France. It doesn’t make me laugh at all. I don’t understand why he (Deschamps) didn’t answer … Because he should also be annoyed when asked why the best French striker is not in the national team.
Deschamps supporters on Benzema’s position
Regarding his position on Benzema, Deschamps still maintains strong support in France, including from sports figures such as former rugby player Vincent Moscato, who believes that Benzema must apologize for allegedly qualifying “half of France” racist.
“Are we going to give the national team jersey to a guy who said half of France is racist?” “ Moscato said. “Either he apologizes or he will no longer play with the national team. ”
With Noël Le Graet still at the head of the French Federation, Deschamps enjoys the full support of the organization as regards his position on Benzema. Deschamps has and will continue to enjoy the full confidence of Le Graet after leading the country to their second World Cup title in 2018.
Benzema faces trial in Valbuena case in October
In January, Versailles prosecutors have confirmed that Benzema will stand trial for his alleged involvement in the Valbuena case. Benzema, who denies any wrongdoing, was indicted in 2015 in connection with the incident. He had previously appealed the charge, but is now ready for trial, with the schedule for proceedings to begin on October 20 of this year.