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French prosecutors press sex-tape case against Cisse

Paris (AFP) – French prosecutors on Friday called for former Liverpool and Marseille striker Djibril Cisse to be charged with blackmail over a sex tape that cost Karim Benzema his place in France’s Euro 2016 squad, legal sources told AFP.

Cisse and Benzema were both arrested last year over their alleged attempt to blackmail Lyon midfielder Mathieu Valbuena with a tape of Valbuena and his girlfriend.

Cisse, who said he had merely tipped off Valbuena about the existence of the tape, was later released without charge.

But prosecutors in Versailles, west of Paris, insist he has a case to answer.

Legal sources said Friday they had recommended for a second time that he face charges.

The court will decide on December 16 whether to take up the case.

So far Benzema has taken most of the blame for the affair.

In November, the Real Madrid star was charged with complicity in the attempted blackmail of fellow French international Valbuena.

Benzema has asked the court to throw out the investigation, insisting it was biased. 

A ruling on his case is due in mid-December.

The sex tape scandal rocked French football, just as the country was preparing for the Euros. Politicians lined up to castigate Benzema, accusing him of sullying the national team’s reputation.

France manager Didier Deschamps left Benzema off the host side over the affair, infuriating the striker who controversially claimed he was sidelined because of his Algerian roots.

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