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Nelson Mail - 2021-11-26

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Suspended sentence

Sport

France and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema was given a one-year suspended jail sentence and a fine of 75,000 euros (NZ$122,200) in a sex-tape case that rocked French football and put the talented striker’s international career on hold for more than five years. Benzemawas found guilty of being involved in an attempt in 2015 to blackmail France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena. In addition to the fine, Benzema was ordered to pay Valbuena 80,000 euros ($130,400) in damages. Benzema’s lawyers said he will appeal. The Versailles court decision is unlikely to affect Benzema’s immediate sporting future. French federation president Noel Le Great has already said Benzema would be allowed to keep playing with France even if found guilty.

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