Panini have decided to not include a Karim Benzema sticker in their forthcoming Euro 2016 sticker collection. Olympique Lyon player Mathieu Valbuena has been included among the twenty French players who compile the two pages of the album dedicated to the French team.
Panini executive Isabelle Fillon justified the absence of Benzema claiming that when the company were finalizing the collection Benzema was still heavily involved in the legal process surrounding the sex-tape case and at that time was "non elegible" for the national team. "This was an editorial decision taken by the company last January" she added..
"It wasn't easy for us to omit Karim Benzema and is a problem as he is one of the most popular players in the French national team set-up", added Panini France executive, Alain Guerrini. He also added that the company would look to update the collection if eventually the Madrid striker is finally called up by Didier Deschamps for the definitive French Euro 2016 squad. "If France call up Benzema that may prompt a new version of the album. A marketing master-stroke."